Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
June 8, 2010
Matthew Huntley: I saw Splice on Friday and the audience, including me, was either laughing or "ewwing" at the screen. But in spite of my reactions, I liked what I saw and I hope others did too. As a creepy, disturbing, bizarre thriller, Splice gives audiences their money's worth and audaciously goes places we don't expect it to, which is a nice change of pace for the genre. It's a sick and silly guilty pleasure, but a well-made one nonetheless. That explains the positive critical reception, but the D Cinemascore remains unsettling. It seems audiences want a sci-fi/horror movie that meets their expectations instead of one that spits them out and tries something new and different. Even if audiences didn't exactly like Splice, they have to admit it kept them on their toes and was entertaining, if even on a sick level. That should at least raise the grade above a D, right?
Kim/David, I urge you to see it. It's not a "pleasant" experience per se, but it's memorable and you can at least admire its twisted craft.
Michael Lynderey: Splice is one of those low-budget Canadian medical horror thrillers, and as such, I think getting a wide release and a $7 million opening should be well above anyone's expectations. In fact, I was really surprised to see this one go so wide. I suppose if we still lived in a world where just any random horror movie opens with $20 mil, it would make sense, but it appears that we no longer do.
Reagen Sulewski: Splice is a smart horror film. Today's horror fans *hate* smart horror, as it makes their brains feel funny in places they're not familiar with. Eat up some more Friday the 13th sequels, dummies - how are those working for you?
Josh Spiegel: Having read what the movie's about, and how things shake out, that this movie has garnered as much interest as it got is due to the marketing. Credit Warner Bros. and Dark Castle for pushing the film as hard as they did, but the trailers did a purposely bad job of describing the movie. Still, it's nice to see Sarah Polley in something again.
Brett Beach: I had hoped to make it to see Splice this weekend (forgive me Polley/Brody, it was #3 on my list of anticipation for the summer!) but that didn't pan out. Hearing about the D Cinemascore intrigued me and got me to searching for online articles about any movies that had scores lower than that (i.e, an F) and there was a 2009 interview with the head of the company in which, asked a similar question, he responded off the top of his head with several movies, almost all of them horror films: Solaris, Darkness, Wolf Creek, Bug, and (the at that time recent) The Box. It feels like Splice fits in really well with that company to some extent, particularly Bug and Solaris. And since Cinemascore measures the level of satisfaction (or lack thereof) of an opening weekend audience, well, hell hath no fury like a horror geek (or Clooney fan) scorned.
On a side note - with the chance to bring up Bug - I maintain it is one of the best films of the 2000s. Friedkin's claustrophobic, driving direction respected the stage origins while feeling entirely cinematic. And Ashley Judd...whew. Among the top ten best performances of that decade, perhaps behind only Laura Dern in Inland Empire. But not a "pleasant entertainment" by any means.
Jason Lee: I agree with Reagen. Part of the discrepancy has to be due to the fact that the moviegoer attracted to Splice was probably expecting a much less intelligent, meditative film. I bet that 20 minutes into it, they were already wondering, "So when is the action-murder-massacre sequence finally gonna start?" There's nothing more disappointing than not getting what you thought you paid for.