Thursday, March 25, 2010
So, I’d heard a lot of good things about Splinter, an independent creature feature with an ugly, spiny monster originally released in 2008, so I ordered it from Amazon, and as soon as it arrived, I was in front of the TV set, watching it. It was a crime drama staring Tom Sizemore. All I could think was, gee, people suck. I know Sizemore has had his problems, but the comments I had read now seemed downright mean.
A quick internet consultation revealed there is more than one movie with the name Splinter, and I had been sent the wrong one. Feeling a little better about human nature, I contacted the vendor, who sent me the Splinter I wanted.
Seth and Polly are a young couple on a romantic camping trip, looking to make love under the stairs. Neither one of them knows the slightest thing about camping, however, including how to pitch a tent, and they soon decide, screw it, let’s get a motel. On the way, they pick up another couple, Dennis and Lacey, and their luck turns bad. Dennis is an escaped criminal, and Lacey is a completely non-functioning drug addict. Even, worse, deep in the woods, a strange spiny creature (not played by Tom Sizemore) is getting closer. The four non-friends stop at a deserted gas station, where Polly has a chance to run over the gun-wielding Dennis, but can’t bring herself to do it. The creature arrives, and the survivors of the group are soon barricaded inside the station. The creature is fairly cool, as it works as a parasite, transforming the bodies of the dead into spiky creatures, sometimes combining two bodies into one. Little explanation of the origin or motivations of the creature are given, and that’s probably a good thing. Pretty soon it turns into one of those “How do we get out of here/who will live and who will die?” things.
The movie is pretty well done. The script and direction does a good job in building suspense, and the creature is nasty enough to unnerve you. The cast was unrecognizable to me, with the exception of Jill Wagner as Polly (She was on the short-lived TV series Blade). Seth is portrayed as a complete wimp, and misses out on several chances to rid themselves of Dennis, but in the end it doesn’t matter. Some of the science is also a little wonky, but if you’re the type that obsesses over such things you probably shouldn’t watch movies like this anyway.
All in all, a surprisingly enjoyable little horror film. Check it out.