Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


SPLINTER (2008). Director: Toby Wilkins.

A young couple (Paulo Costanzo, Jill Wagner) are forced at gunpoint to drive a thug and his girlfriend out of the area but a worse menace appears when they stop at a gas station/convenience store and find a few dead, mutilated bodies. Apparently some parasitic thing of unexplained origin can infest people by jabbing them with spikes or splinters, whereupon if feeds upon them and can even animate severed body parts. At first the fast pace of the movie pulls one along, but Splinter doesn't have enough original ideas and doesn't sustain interest or tension. The performances aren't bad, especially Shea Whigham's as Dennis, the stereotypical hood with a heart of gold.; Rachel Kerbs is fine as his somewhat demented girlfriend. A "highlight" is a cringe-worthy scene when someone's arm has to be amputated. Although highly derivative, the film has potential that goes largely unrealized. Don't expect to get a good look at the monster -- you won't. In fact, it doesn't seem to appear at all. The FX work is competent. A Sci Fi Channel Original that's not that original, but what else is new?

Verdict: Something's out there but what the hell is it? **.

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