Splinter – USA, 2008 – reviews

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[Total: 5   Average: 3.2/5]

‘Once it finds you, it becomes you.’

Splinter is a 2008 horror feature film directed by Toby Wilkins. The movie stars Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo and Jill Wagner.


At a quiet gas station, a slack-jawed pump attendant (Charles Baker) is attacked by a seemingly rabid animal. Through a series of glimpses the attendant’s body begin to contort after the attack.

Meanwhile, a young couple, Seth Belzer (Paulo Costanzo) and Polly Watt (Jill Wagner) retreat to the wilderness for a romantic camping trip in the ancient forests of Oklahoma, but their plans are shattered when they are car-jacked by an escaped convict, Dennis Farell (Shea Whigham), and his drug-addict girlfriend, Lacey Belisle (Rachel Kerbs).

As the foursome travel the back roads together, they get a flat tire when they run over a small splinter infected animal on the road. Finding shelter at the now abandoned gas station, they fend off larger incarnations of a parasite as it infects more victims..

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“The only truly jarring moments happen in macro shots of the parasitic creature’s nasty pokers extruding from the pores of the dead and soon-to-be-dead. It’s a totally original concept, monster-wise, and appreciated as such, but you come away from Splinter feeling it would have made a far more effective short than the feature-length drag it is.” Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

“Some of the effects have a charming, Evil Dead 2-like quality, but little of the attendant wit, and the hostage subplot gets consumed entirely by the standard-issue mayhem. There’s potential for a lot more excitement in Splinter, but Wilkins seems content just to bring it across the finish line.” Scott Tobias, AV Film

Splinter takes a familiar route to scares, but it’s a proficient chiller with a wonderfully short running time (78 minutes), a few bursts of scares, and enough goopy practical effects to stay involved in this unexpectedly sharp monster movie.” Brian Orndorf, DVD Talk

“The scares are equal parts psychological jolts and gore. This is classic Halloween fun, with plenty of thrills and chills, surprisingly believable performances, and healthy doses of humor.” Claudia Puig, USA Today

Cast and characters:

  • Charles Baker … Blake Sherman Jr.
  • Jill Wagner … Polly Watt
  • Paulo Costanzo … Seth Belzer
  • Shea Whigham … Dennis Farell
  • Rachel Kerbs … Lacey Belisle
  • Laurel Whitsett … Sheriff Terri Frankel


Splinter had a limited theatrical release on October 31, 2008.

Offline reading:

Horror! 333 Films to Scare You Death by James Marriott and Kim Newman. Carlton Books, 2nd edition, UK, 2010

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