Pros: interesting creature, it won awards, great cast participation
Cons: some jerky camera work but not bad
The Bottom Line: You'll never look at quills the same way again
The really frightening thing about Splinter is that they made absolutely no excuses for the appearance of the parasite in their movie. Usually we have a government gene splice trick happening or a chemical spill or even illegal dumping to blame on the formation of our creature. They offered up no explanation at all and, if not for falling back on the typical cheesy ending, I would have been thoroughly pleased with this movie.
First we have our couple, voted the most unlikely to match up ever, arriving at the end of nowhere to camp out for the night. She has promised him 10 year anniversary sex under the stars, the only reason we’d ever find this geekazoid outside. They were so mismatched, like that Billy Joel/Christie Brinkley thing, you are going, like, WTF? Offhand I can’t remember her profession. Let’s just settle for the mini-Rambo type as a line of work. He, on the other hand, is a student after his PhD in biological studies.
Naturally, after much fumbling about, we can see this romantic evening under the stars just isn’t going to happen, especially after he snaps the support pole for the tent.
On the other side of the coin we have macho man #1 and his drugged out, semi crazy, girlfriend, sitting in a car that just ain’t gonna move any longer. After he convinces her, not a hard feat with her scrambled brain, that they are only a few miles from Mexico, they set out on foot. After he tucks his gun into his waistband that is. You just know this couple is gonna meet up with the other couple and it isn’t going to be exactly friendly.
In the middle, separating the two, is a lone service station with its’ “duh” attendant on duty. As he settles down in a lawn chair to snack a bag of chips, he meets a rather nasty fate at the hands of “IT” … whatever IT is. They call it a parasite in the promo but I’ve never seen a parasite quite like this thing. It more or less absorbs what it consumes and drags the corpse along for fun and games. Not something I can particularly describe but at one time it had part of a torso of a policewoman dangling from one of its armpits, her mouth still gnashing away, as well as several other body parts from various other humans and animals it had conquered … including, sadly, the drugged out girlfriend eventually. Poor soul.
Just like Michael Myers, you can’t kill the thing. I just evolves into something else. Like a worm, the amputated parts grow on their own and there are a couple of humorous scenes with amputated arms and hands skittering about on their own trying to attack.
All in all, some very strange bedfellows come together in this lonely service station and, it seems, things or people aren’t always as they appear at first glance.
Splinter was directed by Toby Wilkins, writers were Kai Barry and Ian Shorr. It is rated R for violence, gore, and language. It is incredibly gory for those with a faint heart. While I generally don’t list awards, it is so rare for me to find a horror movie that won awards, for something by a virtual unknown with a small budget, I thought it deserved its kudos: Nomination: Saturn Award for Best Horror Film Wins: [at Screamfest] Festival Trophy, best directing; best editing; best make-up; best musical score; best picture; and best special effects.
The creature is especially unique and disturbing at the same time. It didn’t receive great screen time but what little you see is ample enough. The participants in the film did a great job of acting and, running at 82 minutes, the film was just long enough to keep you entertained without bogging down in unnecessary filler. Not for everyone, but for horror fans, you really should see it.
*** out of **** Take a premise in which people are trapped in a gas-station, add a little fun twist to it, and you've got my attention and my support. The last good gas-station horror flick I saw was "The Mist", which I thoroughly enjoyed. Now comes "Splinter", which is much lesser known, but alas, equally as entertaining. The trick to making a good gas-station horror film is to not make the gas-station the "wrong one". There are horror films that deal … more
The concept of the unknown against a small group of folks isolated in a small area had been numerous times, most notably in films like "Night of the Living Dead", "Alien" and "The Thing". "The Mist" followed this same formula with a much larger group of folks. It is a very basic and simple concept that relies more in execution--this premise will provide the feeling of claustrophobia, terror and helplessness. However, this concept if done incorrectly and poorly will end up in a laughable … more
In this indie film sure to make audiences shriek, the horror is just beginning when a young couple is carjacked by an escaped inmate and his lover. But the criminal (Shea Whigham, WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY) isn't the most dangerous thing on the trip; a mysterious, parasitic creature stalks the two couples, and a small convenience store doesn't prove to be much of a haven from the menace. Toby Wilkins, who won awards for his short film "Staring at the Sun," makes his feature directorial debut with SPLINTER.