1.5 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund
In its early stages of development, the cautionary sci-fi/horror thriller “Splice” surprises you with how non-horror-thriller-like it is. For a time, the bumps, jolts, screams and gore are markedly toned down in favor of the painstaking exploration of themes more provocative than simply the loss of innocence, virginity and limbs. Amazingly, it seems this typically-advertised, don't-mess-with-Mother-Nature freakshow might actually be a scary movie for mature and intellectual viewers. Oh, is that notion ever squashed. Designed to rope horror fans into some slow-boiling, sci-fi psychodrama, “Splice” thinks it's sophisticated, but it's in fact far worse than your average slasher. What it evolves into is a shockingly tasteless bit of sensationalism, which adds insult to inelegance with its absurd self-seriousness.