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quietearth [Celluloid 10.08.08] movie review horror

Year: 2008
Release date: October 31st (limited theatrical)
Director: Toby Wilkins
Writers: Toby Wilkins & Kai Barry & Ian Shorr
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 7 out of 10

While Splinter may be very formulaic and adds nothing new to the horror canon, I can happily tell you that it is a great little horror film. But herein lies a problem, there's not much I can say without giving the film away. It has a slow start, all superficial setup, and jumps into the action straight away. From there it crescendos to a literal bang right at the end, so let me tell you what I can.

The story starts with Polly who's a tomboy and her ineffectual boyfriend Seth attempting to camp for their anniversary. The tent breaks as they're trying to set it up, so they decide to go in search of a motel. We're already in the middle of nowhere and have seen a brief shot of some experimental oil company land which alludes to the coming problem. While driving, they stop for a girl on the side of the road that looks scared and her boyfriend saunters up driver side toting a six-shooter and drags Polly out by her hair. After barking a few orders and some arguing everything is settled and everyone gets back in the car.

Problem is, the carjackers girlfriend is looking mighty sickly and it turns out shes coming down from something. After finding out Seth is a doctor, she asks him to write her a prescription. Too bad for her, he's got a PhD in biology. Down a ways they run over something in the road, and the carjackers girlfriend is screaming about some name like it's her dog, so they go back to check it out while the other 2 change the flat. The animal is a mess and surprise surprise, some bits of it start moving, so they run scared. Back to the car, and on down the road, where they get stuck in an oddly deserted gas station. While I've left out some details, you can make out most of this in the provided synopsis.

The problem really hits the fan at the gas station as it seems the attendant has already been affected by whatever creature has been loosed. I can't give away the details without spoiling it, but suffice to say, the creature design is so fantastic, it left me wanting more. In fact, when I told the director about that and my idea for an alternate ending, he responded with his Castaway alternate ending: One where Hanks delivers that Fedex package and watches the lady open it only to find a satellite phone and a gps nav system, hah!

Seriously, this film may not look like anything special, but it packs quite a punch. I'd recommend this to any film buff or horror fan, and I know our creature feature friend Avery is going to love it. Oh and one more thing, let's hope we can talk Toby into making an apocalyptic sequel.

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