Splinter (2008) Review
Written by: the5thdroog
A movie about a parasite or virus comes along probably once out of every 3 or 4 horror movies one might watch. That isn’t a bad thing, but the hard part is to be creative with the idea. Splinter was another movie that I’d heard buzz on, but nothing really concrete when it came to dealing with the details of the plot. Maybe that was intentionally done or maybe it was concealed well enough in the things I read, either way I’m glad that was the case. That being said, I’m going to be creative with the review so as not to spoil anything for you.
The movie starts out with a gas attendant for an out of the way station taking a stroll outside. He is then attacked by some sort of mangled forest creature. We cut away to a couple who are deciding to become one with nature on this particular anniversary of theirs. Seth (Paulo Costanzo) proves how terrible he is outdoors during the tent putting up process and convinces Polly (Jill Wagner) that a motel would be a much better idea. Away from this playful couple we are introduced to another couple. They seem to be in a lot worse mood than Seth and Polly. Dennis (Shea Whigham) is trying to explain to Lacey (Rachel Kerbs) that they have to stick to the plan even if they have run into some car trouble. They roll the car off the side of the road and throw away everything except a small handgun. Of course, this leads to Seth and Polly running into the stranded couple on the road and being forced to give them a ride. During the ride Polly runs over a small animal that has just darted in front of the car. Whatever it was it has flattened the tire. They get out to change the tire and Dennis notices the tires has little splinters all along the spot where it had been punctured. He actually notices too well and is pricked a bit. While Dennis tends to his wound, Lacey has talked Seth into checking on the animal since he is a biologist. It is a bloody mess, but this mess starts to move very suddenly in their direction. The two hurry back to the car and the group is on it’s way again only to be slowed down by a radiator that is overheating. No worries though, there is a gas station just ahead. You guessed it, the very same station we saw in the opening.
The acting was pretty good. I really hated Whigham in the beginning, but only because he was doing his part really well. I know too many people like that I suppose. Their wasn’t a whole lot of cast to choose from, but they all helped maintain the atmosphere needed to help the film along.
The effects were a real treat. I had no idea what kind of movie I was watching and that probably helped. I realized it was an independent, but that doesn’t take away from the job that was done. There was one scene in particular that took me right back to the way I felt when I first saw some of Rob Bottin’s creations in Carpenter’s “The Thing”. Obviously not on that scale, but easily something that tipped it’s hat in that direction. There was plenty of blood to go along with all of the little creations and none of it seemed too excessive. Very nice job by the Quantum Creation FX team.
As you can tell by the description I gave you of the movie, it has been done before. This takes us back to my first part of the review speaking of creativity. This movie definitely gets great marks in that category. There were parts I wish I could’ve actually seen more of what was going on, but I understand this is an independent movie and there are some things that need to be taken advantage of to make sure the movie works. A little quick camera here and a dark corner there never ruined a movie for me and in this case the imagination is a great thing to be left with when wondering what exactly that was I just saw. This is a very tight movie around a small cast and pretty much one location, but for me it all seems very cozy…well I mean apart from the splinters.