Queue It Up: 'Splice'

[caption id="attachment_10169" align="alignleft" width="220" caption="WHV"]Splice DVD[/caption]

Though "Splice" barely made a dent at this summer's box office, the film found a loyal following among a slew of critics who appreciated the risks taken by the sci-fi horror entry, making lofty comparisons between the film and David Cronenberg's classic gore-fest "The Fly."

The comparisons are warranted. Both "Splice" and "The Fly" concern themselves with scientists gone berserk, feature respected actors not normally associated with horror films (in "Splice"'s case indie queen Sarah Polley and Oscar winner Adrien Brody), and contain truckloads of gooey gore.

Oh, and they're both solid flicks that lend prestige to an otherwise largely derided genre.

Brody and Polley star as a pair of hotshot genetic engineers who specialize in splicing DNA from different animals to create new hybrids. Ever the forward-thinking scientists, the two set out to create something never attempted before -- a hybrid fused with human DNA.  Without approval from their superiors, they create Dren; a by turns beautiful and terrifying humanoid of a beast that sports wide-set eyes, a tail, porcelain skin, and kangaroo legs. At first Dren seems innocent enough, but as she grows and learns at an accelerated rate, her creators find themselves struggling to keep her under wraps, leading to some, um, tension in their new "family."

Though Brody and Polley both put in fine turns as the doomed pair, the real star of the show is Dren, played in her latter stage by newcomer Delphine Chanéac. A blend of seamless special effects and live action performance, Dren is enough of a cinematic marvel to make James Cameron blush.

The film, directed by Vincenzo Natali ("Cube"), takes a turn for the bizarre near the end, the likes of which Hollywood rarely explores. Satisfy your curiosity, and be one of the cool kids who can say they saw this provocative jaw-dropper.

Extras! The Blu-ray package comes with a standard DVD of the film and a digital copy to boot. In addition, the making of feature, "A Director's Playground: Vincenzo Natali on the Set of 'Splice,'" can be found on both the Blu-ray disc and the DVD.