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Friday, 26 September 2008

Splinter, 2008- Movie Review and Trailer. Beware those small slivers of wood!

Director: Toby Wilkins
Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo, Jill Wagner
Score: 8/10
This review by

First off its safe to say this review will not spoil the movie. So fear not my horror munching friends. This review is safe to read. Toby Wilkins Splinter is coming to Theatres October 31st and I had a chance to checkout a very early screener of the film. Toby Wilkins is also directing Grudge 3 that has some fans groaning and in the past worked on the Grudge Short films that were put out as part of a viral marketing campaign. So with Splinter this is our first chance to see what Toby can REALLY do.

First a bit of a background rant. In modern mainstream horror it is full of cliches, bad acting, and cgi out the wazoo. Three things that will pretty much ruin a horror movie for the die hard horror fans who expect and want more The flip side is you also have an entire generation of fans who are into horror to see things get bloody.... really bloody. Folks who like to see bodies getting ripped in half, limbs torn off, heads blown off and all that jazz. So the horror demographic is a diverse one. Gore hounds as well as people like myself who like their gore but also want some originality and intelligence in the film as well.

Mainstream horror as a whole has gotten lazy which is why most of us have to watch horror on DVD as its the only place to get a good quality FIX for our need for terror. The nice thing about Splinter is it pulls both those things off quite well. Gorey, intelligent and all around... bad ass. Think FEAST bad ass minus the comedy angle because this is a balls out blood bath and there is nothing funny about it. Although you might like me laugh that ackward laugh in a few scenes where bodies are bent in directions they shouldnt go and you get some sick bone cracking and screaming happening. Yes kids.. its sick.

The really vague overview I will give you is its about a group of people who end up trapped in a building and being 'hunted' by a monster/creature that is bent on having them for supper. It has a unique blend of 3 main characters who really work well together and are not your typical cliche, the hot chick, the tough guy, and the jock. You do get the hot chick, and you do get the tough guy, but in place of a jock we get a biology PHD student and a whole lot more intelligence. The characters are well thought out and interesting with a dialogue that actually makes sense in a horror movie. You dont see any cliche scares in this puppy and no, Jill Wagner who plays the fantastic female lead doesnt play the mindless tart who eats it. Smart characters and smart writing combined with a really cool monster done primarily with practical FX is what makes this movie a keeper.

The monster in Splinter is genius and again you have to watch to see. I dont intend to spoil it. Its not your typical monster and its also not some over the top insane creation that you have a hard time connecting with or having it scare the crap out of you. I take issue with movies that try to do a new and creative creature and fall flat or worse yet lack any sort of ingenuity to even go that far and just do the typical 'man with an axe' crap. The monster in splinter is definitely NOT your cliche formula monster and the first 30 minutes of the movie I spent trying to figure out exactly what the f*ck it was. But in a good way. Its bloody, its distinct and as pointed out earlier... its bad ass.

The film which is getting a theatrical run through Mangolia has outstanding production values. This is despite the fact it was shot on a relatively small budget in comparsion to a lot of other big budget horror films. There is no skimping to the viewers eye on how the film looks. The overall feel and appeal of the film is top bar the whole way. If your looking for a horror movie that not only has some serious bite but has some intelligent writing and interesting characters Splinter is for you. I have to say that this is a definite go see when it hits theatres.



Anonymous said...

I read about this one and thought meh but the trailer looks good. I can add this to the list with [rec]and Martyrs.

Live for films said...

Martyrs? Missed that one. Movie sense failed me there. Go Go Gadget Google!

Anonymous said...

Im hearing alot about Martyrs right now as its been running the festival circuit and the thing I keep hearing that makes me want to see it is that it will divide audiences. I love movies like that, I love to be challenged. Of course its french and my last french horror experience was with À l'intérieur (Inside). That film challenged me visually (my gag reflex) but didnt really make me think much. Whole time I watched it I just thought no way are they getting away with this sick twisted shit and then it would go further and get worse. Still cant believe I bought my copy of that at good ol walmart.

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