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Splinter (2008)

  Tags: blood, Charles Baker, creature, gore, Jill Wagner, Laurel Whitsett, organism, Paulo Costanzo, Rachel Kerbs, Shea Whigham, splinter, Toby Wilkins

Your rating: None Average: 7.1 (11 votes)
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Toby Wilkins
82 minutes
Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo, Jill Wagner, Charles Baker, Rachel Kerbs, Laurel Whitsett

FX maestro Toby Wilkins makes his directorial debut with this flick, which attempts to bring back old creature features and surprisingly-enough pulls it off quite well. You can thank the snazzy practical effects and interesting storyline for that. So the story is pretty simple, yet effective at the same time -- basically follows a couple hoping to get a little camping excitement on their anniversary. After that doesn't go according to plan, they head to the nearest motel, but find themselves taken hostage by a couple wanted fugitives. Low on gas, they make their way to a local gas station, which is where they spend the rest the movie. Why? Well, maybe because there's a crazy parasitic creature lurking outside!

Apparently this parasite gets inside a warm host and practically takes over. The host ends up with some pretty wicked splinters over its body, among other things. Since this is a parasite, simply shooting the host in the head or dismembering it won't do the trick. Nope, because the body parts will just get up and keep on coming! Though not a gorefest, it does have a nice amount of it in the appropriate scene. Naturally since there is some dismemberment they can't skip out on the gore anyway. I especially loved one scene where a character is forced to have their arm amputated with a boxcutter! It's hard to keep a movie interesting with only a small handful of characters that basically stay in one location through most of the film, but Toby managed to do just that. I was glued to the screen from the start and really loved this creative villain our leads had to fend against.

Not that it's necessary, but we're never given an actual explanation for this parasitic creature. One of the nerdy leads comes to some of his own conclusions, which gives a little insight for us viewers, but the rest is left up in the air. The only real gripe I have with the flick would have to involve the quick-paced editing and shaky camera tactics during the action sequences that involved the creature. I like how we never actually get a clear view of the thing, but moving the camera around a lot to increase the tension adds more confusion for the viewer than anything. I know I spent a lot of my time wondering what the hell I was lookin' at. Other than that, I really enjoyed the flick, and hopefully Toby goes forward with a sequel, because I'd like to know more about this splinter-parasite and see what other kind of shenanigans it gets into next!

Simple and effective, this flick brings back the old school creature feature and offers some cool practical effects to boot. Throw in some decent gore and an original villain and Splinter makes for a nice genre effort. Worth a check!

Posted on July 11, 2009 - 3:32am | FrighT MasteR