SPLICE (2009) Reviews and overview

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‘She’s not human… Not entirely.’

Splice is a 2009 science fiction horror feature film directed by Vincenzo Natali  from a screenplay co-written with Antoinette Terry Bryant and Doug Taylor. The movie stars Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley and Delphine Chanéac.

The story concerns experiments in genetic engineering being done by a young scientist couple who attempt to introduce human DNA into their work of splicing animal genes.


Genetic engineers Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) hope to achieve fame by successfully splicing together the DNA of different animals to create new hybrid animals for medical use. They have just created the second in a pair of hybrids; the new female specimen, Ginger, is intended as a mate for the original specimen, a male called Fred.

After their success, Clive and Elsa want to use human DNA to create a hybrid that could revolutionize science and medicine, but are forbidden by the pharmaceutical company that funds their research called N.E.R.D. (Nucleic Exchange Research and Development), instead mandating that their department be re-organised to focus on finding and extracting certain proteins from the creatures they have already created. Secretly, Clive and Elsa conduct their own experiments, blending human DNA with that of other animals.

Although they initially plan not to bring the hybrid to full term, Elsa pushes the issue and persuades Clive to go along with it, in continued secrecy. The hybrid appears deformed and aggressive when it stings Elsa several times after “birth” with a retractable stinger in its tail. Clive and Elsa believe they have killed the hybrid only to discover that within the body was the true hybrid…


Splice is not a David Cronenberg film but it comes closer to capturing the sensibility of Cronenberg’s films from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s than anything Cronenberg himself has done in the past decade […] a glorious blend of science-fiction, horror, melodrama and psycho-sexual thriller.” Cinema Autopy

Cast and characters:

  • Adrien Brody … Clive Nicoli
  • Sarah Polley … Elsa Kast
  • Delphine Chanéac … Dren (as Delphine Chaneac)
  • Brandon McGibbon … Gavin Nicoli
  • Simona Maicanescu … Joan Chorot
  • David Hewlett … William Barlow
  • Abigail Chu … Child Dren
  • Doug Hicton … Lab Tech (uncredited)


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