Wednesday’s What You Should Watch – Splinter
Splinter is a fun and nasty little movie about a small group of people fighting off a parasitic organism. It’s an incredibly simple premise, a classic horror movie plot with the usual characters, but the special effects really make this film shine. If you don’t like blood and gore, and Cronenberg style “body horror” you probably won’t like this movie. But seeing as I really dig that stuff, I’m recommending this film for all horror fans. In fact, I’m even a bit sad that it’s not available on Netflix instant anymore because I am really craving this movie.
Small, contained horror movies like this usually involve a small cast of characters who don’t get along from the get-go and are suddenly thrown into a situation where they are trapped and fighting for their lives. Genre rules say that they must (sort of) work together in order to survive, and someone isn’t going to make it out. Well this film involves a couple who are carjacked by an escaped con and his girlfriend. As luck would have it, they end up at a gas station where something VERY BAD happened to the attendant.
So we start our contained horror story, as the group becomes trapped by a parasitic organism that grows splintery spikes (basically like a porcupine, only a LOT GROSSER) and begins to attack people and take over their dead bodies. The special effects of the creature are awesome, a lot of make-up and live puppetry going on here in really gross ways. It reminded me a lot of the effects in John Carpenter‘s “The Thing,” which in my opinion, featured some of the best/grossest creature effects ever recorded on film. If you haven’t seen it, go rent it or watch it in 10 or so parts on Youtube. But this creature, well, it’s sort of unclear what it is, but there’s no mistaking what it DOES, which is basically take over your body and contort your bones into ways they shouldn’t, while growing/attaching to other bodies and doing the same thing. Succumbing to it would be a really BAD way to go, let’s just say that.
Clocking in at 82 minutes, Splinter is a really enjoyable exercise in horror and tension. It’s got solid performances from its actors, a really great villian (played by Shea Whigham, who has now gone on to star/support in a bunch of roles), and a really gross, a great homage to the “Evil Dead,” and a gross and scary monster. There’s implications for a sequel, which I’d take anyday over the next Star Wars…