By: Kevin Kelly, reposted from the Sundance Film Festival 1/27/10
These days, movies about geeks have to accomplish a lot to pass muster, because ever since the nerds and geeks were let out of the closet, they've invaded every facet of our existence, including people who write about movies. This is probably why I enjoyed Splice so much, although in the effort of full disclosure, I was biased going in because I'm a big fan of director Vincenzo Natali's other films, which include Cube, Cypher, and Nothing. Cube became a bit of a cult hit on DVD, but Cypher only appeared briefly in theaters here, and Nothing had an even smaller release.
It's a shame because Natali is a great visual storyteller, and Splice shows just how much he's matured as a director, and this movie also has the added boost of being executive produced by Guillermo del Toro. It's also Natali's first foray into using so much CGI in a film, particularly in a way that isn't just used as a background enhancement or something you see only briefly. Throughout the film, the creature borne out of Splice is fully created out of and/or enhanced by CGI, but not in a manner that distracts you from the story at hand. It's impressive at how quickly you'll bond with the creature as an audience, and the movie takes you on a fun (and disturbing) ride.