When Elsa tries to grab the splice baby inside, it stings her, sending her into a foamy seizure.
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Once they discover the bald, whiskered, rat-eyed infant with a scorpion-like venomous tail inside, Elsa's motherly instincts kick in, though earlier in the film she told Clive she didn't want children apparently she meant human children. Clive tries to gas the creature but Elsa stops him. It's aging days in minutes so it will die soon anyway, and she argues, "Do you think they could look at this face and see anything less than a miracle?
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They sequester their unnatural spawn in the basement where, with Elsa's tutoring, she communicates with birdlike coos and clicks and scrabble letters. When she spells out "nerd" on Elsa's shirt, Elsa names her Dren.
After Dren's relocated to Elsa's crazy mother's abandoned barn, she throws tantrums like teens do because she never gets to go out. Not one to be disobeyed, Elsa goes a bit Mommie Dearest while Clive becomes the center of Dren's world. If Elsa and Clive crossed the line when they spliced human DNA, they venture even farther into a moral nowhere land when Dren reaches sexual maturity. Splice is a captivating genetic concept creepily cultivated in an atmosphere of sin, secrecy, dread of moral and physical peril and dimly lit, eerie underground or wintry locales.
Masked by Dren's spliced physique, actress Delphine Chaneac and young Dren Abigail Chu, skillfully convey the creature's dangerous, innocent, sympathetic, and enigmatic personality with no lines. But the icky sex subplot that consumes most of the film makes the movie a little hard to respect dramatically. Elsa and Clive are so far from likable or redeemable, they, along with their unfathomable decisions, are often off-putting. Aren't scientists supposed to be smart?
They make Dr. Frankenstein seem reasonable and charming, although I suppose some horror film fans may find their behavior part of Splice 's skin-crawling appeal. At the end of the movie Elsa makes another horrifically bad decision that she justifies by saying "what could go wrong? A lot could go wrong Elsa, for you and the audiences-- for, heaven forbid, Splice II. The DVD's one extra is behind-the-scenes footage that takes you on set to watch the making of a few scenes and hear Natali's take on the making of and meaning of his film it's basically an analogy for very dysfunctional parenting.
A few years later, I ran into my black-shirted gamer friend at a facility outside of Chicago. I also learned firsthand that in London they consider it uncivilized to deny subjects an evening cup of tea, so study baselines are adjusted to factor in the trace amounts of caffeine.
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How much would Rodriguez diverge from reality in the name of artistic license? The little details come across. Participants are treated like children, and their pay is docked for minor rules violations.
Someone with a flashlight checks to ensure that pills have actually been swallowed. A popular—if potentially apocryphal—tale among lab rats is that if a drug makes people sick, they are released with full pay.
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Interpersonal tensions between subjects boil up and can turn ugly, because a bunch of random strangers are stuck together in a small space while getting prodded with needles. Lab techs gush about subjects with the biggest veins. Mine are enormous, a fact I learned to love.
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Veins are ranked on a ten-point scale, and mine were nines. I took a job loading moving trucks and eventually found a way to transition to writing full time.
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At the same civilized London facility where I later joined other subjects in sipping tea, a study to test a drug called theralizumab had resulted in six subjects suffering multiple organ failure and permanent disfigurement immediately upon dosing. Sign up for Texas Monthly's State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily. It was a place where many writers, musicians, and actors could make some extra money. Texas Monthly. Robert Rodriguez on the set of Red Kurt Volk We four members of the black T-shirted group were all newcomers to the world of clinical pharmaceutical research studies, but we took to it quickly.
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