This week's must-see DVD/BD, and why we're lovin' it.
Who? Directed by Vincenzo Natali and starring Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley and Delphine Chaneac
Why? The science-fiction and horror genres are glutted with remakes, reboots and sequels nowadays, so any time an original movie pushes the envelope is cause for celebration. Director Vincenzo Natali's Splice is one of those movies: a scary and uncomfortably provocative film that challenges viewers to step outside of their comfort zones and sympathize with the monster at the center of the story.
Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) are rock-star genetic engineers who specialize in splicing DNA from different animals to create bizarre new hybrid life forms, like two amorphous blobs they nickname Fred and Ginger. Clive and Elsa—who are partners off the clock as well—are the star players for the pharmaceutical company that they work for, but it isn't enough. The two want to push the boundaries of their research and use human DNA in one of their hybrids, but the company forbids it. Clive and Elsa do it anyway and take their research underground.
The result is a strange, inquisitive little creature they nickname "Dren" ("nerd" spelled backwards). Dren grows at an accelerated rate and soon matures into what can only be described as an otherworldly Sinead O'Connor with a long, spike-tipped tail and sleek feminine body. Clive and Elsa move Dren from the research facility to a remote barn, but Dren becomes frustrated with being caged like an animal and tries to escape. More disturbingly, Dren develops a strong attraction to father-figure Clive, who himself is grabbling with what is right and wrong now that he's crossed the line and created Dren. One thing is true of any creature, natural or otherwise—it will do anything to survive.
What Else? Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain one special feature: the 35-minute "A Director's Playground: Vincenzo Natali on the Set of the Splice," which takes you behind the scenes during production.