In 1997, director Vincenzo Natali wrote and directed a sci-fi horror movie called Cube which revolved around a group of strangers stuck in a construct of sadistically booby-trapped rooms, with no clue how to survive other than some seemingly random numbers engraved on each door. The fates of the characters were generally quite grisly, but the film itself posed some interesting questions about morals and the will to survive.
Natali planned to follow up that effort with a film exploring the concept and potential ramifications of genetic modification. His idea required a budget that simply was not available, but 13 years later he has finally been able to deliver Splice, a creepy, unnerving and ultimately thought-provoking slice of sci-fi horror pie.
Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley play Clive Nicoli and Elsa Kast, two genetic engineers who have been conducting research and experiments investigating the outcome of DNA splicing. They plan to start introducing human DNA into the mix, but the pharmaceutical company with all the cash is not too keen.
The persistent duo decide to oppose their financiers and proceed with their plans in secret, convinced that successful splicing of human DNA with that of other animals could provide cures to several devastating diseases.
Their secretive work spawns a creature that they name Dren (the reversed letters of the pharmaceutical company’s acronym N.E.R.D). The creature displays impressive cognitive development and rapidly grows into something akin to an inquisitive feminine teenager, albeit one with a tail and stinger.