Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 256: Splinter (2008) - Rank 3/5


This film falls into the loose category that so many modern horror films do - cool concept that doesn't live up to its potential. The creature that must be defeated in this film is not a monster in a true sense, but a fungus that infects living humans. The fungus grows in the form of metallic spikes and it only takes a puncture of one thin shard to infect you. Once that occurs, your body is no longer your own - your central nervous system is controlled by the primitive demands of the fungus, converting bodies, both living and dead, into unthinking, mobile creatures.

The humans pitted against this organisms are a happy couple celebrating their love with a camping trip, and another couple who hijack their car and take them hostage. The four end up at a gas station where the attendant has been infected by the fungus and soon they're holed up in this small station a la every zombie film ever made. The story conducts itself in a manner that can only be described as "predictable implausibility." A man's arm is amputated in a manner cruder than a scene in any "Saw" film, yet the victim lives, police show up randomly only to be destroyed...the usual cliches.

I can't deny though, that the creature concept was pretty cool. The fungus had the ability to join with itself and there's a neat scene where two corpses are joined by the splintering substance into one. Regrettably, you never see much of it, but a cool concept all the same. Severed limbs also serve the same threat as full corpses since the fungus can control all! There are some pretty cool special effects for such a low-budget film, but unfortunately "shaky-camera cinematography" was utilized in action scenes to prevent you from seeing too much (a tactic used to its fullest by Ridley Scott in "Gladiator" as well as every filmmaker since who didn't want the audience to get a genuine look at the action taking place...tsk, tsk). It wasn't the most unique horror flick, but I've killed time with far worse fodder.

Watch the Trailer

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