25 January 2015

SPLINTER (2006)

SPLINTER

USA, 2008
Director: Toby Wilkins

6/10











Before he botched his directing career with the abysmal "The Grudge 3", Toby Wilkins was one of many late-00s filmmakers hailed as the next big thing in Horror, thanks to his low-budget debut feature "Splinter", an interesting but IMO ultimately underwhelming creature feature about a bizarre parasite/mold-like organism terrorizing a young couple, an escaped convict and his white trash girlfriend at an abandoned gas station.


The organism's behavior unlike everything I've seen before: it gains control over its host (humans or animals) by infecting it with tiny splinters, building some kinda mycelium and seeking out for food. If the host is dead, the organism reanimates it. If necessary, it even mutates the host. Doesn't matter if the host is 'complete', or if it's only a hand or leg. Sounds rad, huh? Sadly, it's basically the only original thing about it, and due to the fact that nearly all of the infections / transformations / infected-attacks are filmed in a distracting quick-cut-style (very similar to "Isolation" or "Blood Glacier"), I just wasn't able to fully enjoy this flick.

"Splinter" is basically a mash-up of "The Mist" and "The Thing". It's well-directed and rather well-paced, at times entertaining, at times gripping, but never fully satisfying. There's always something wrong, be it certain utterly stupid character decisions (I was yelling at the screen several times, "Go away!" or "Close the door!" or "Are you deaf?!"), some really unnerving shaky-cam camera work, lack of chemistry and a couple of scenes that are either too long (opening) or too short/quick (showdown). When the film ended after only about 80 minutes,
I was like "What? That's it?"


The acting is neat, especially Shea Whigham's performance (he reminded me a bit of the fabulous Andrew Howard), cinematography is gorgeous (Nelson Cragg, "The Canyon"), music is intense (Elia Cmiral, "Wrong Turn") and most of the creature / gore effects / scenes are fine, especially the one where the couple tries to cut off the convict's infected arm with a boxcutter and a cinder block - brutality at its finest! However, overall, this wasn't exactly my cup of tea. "Splinter" is a decent watch but nothing really special. At least, it's lightyears better than Wilkins' follow-up movie...

Wiki ~ Imdb

7 comments:

  1. It was okay. Okay enough to be one of my fave monster movies. Still, yer right, it could had done more for its part. Something...

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's ok, but it could have been so much more. Pity.

      Delete
  2. Makes a good double bill with the somewhat better Alien Raiders. That's one I'd recommend if you haven't seen it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, haven't seen that one yet. Thanks for the rec!

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    2. I hope you enjoy it. It's much better than you could ever imagine :)

      Delete
  3. I liked Splinter a bit more than you or Kai. I don't want every movie to be like it - but I enjoyed it while I was watching it.

    ReplyDelete

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