31 Days of Horror, Day 12. Splinter.

Posted: October 13, 2016 in B-Movies, Cinema / Film, Horror, John Carpenter, Monsters, parasites, Reviews, Splinter, undead

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Creature features are a tough sell these days as we’ve seen pretty much all there is to see in terms of monsters gobbling up humans like the earth is an all you can eat buffet. Wolf-men, vampires, creatures from the Black Lagoon, check, check, check. Radioactive dinosaurs, ants, ticks, check, check, check. Flesh-eating plants, intergalactic porcupines, Killer Klowns from Outer Space check, check, check. Sharknados, telekinetic tires, and Ron Jeremy’s penis… sadly another triple check, and so on in infinitum. Do you see a trend? It would appear that as the years progress filmmakers are attempting to make things that aren’t scary, well, scary, (not counting Ron Jeremy’s penis of course. That thing is terrifying). So it’s always a pleasant surprise when a creature feature comes along that brings something unique to the sinner table, without stumbling into the absolutely ludicrous.

Take 2008’s Splinter, for example. On paper it has a fairly simple plot. A couple on route to a romantic camping trip in the forests of Oklahoma, (words I never thought I’d put together) are car-jacked by an escaped convict, and his junkie girlfriend. After suffering a flat tire the four end up seeking shelter in an abandoned gas station, and soon find themselves attacked by a parasitic fungus that reanimates the flesh of the dead in creative, and disturbing ways.

Splinter works because of its simplicity. There’s no complex backstory explaining the origin of the fungus, no end of the world type scenario, there’s just a handful of people in a small environment doing the best they can to survive.

Co-Writer/ director Toby Wilkins, did an excellent job with the relatively small budget he had to work with by focussing more on the characters, and less on the creature itself. Also praise is due for one of the most brutal amputation scenes I’ve ever witnessed.

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The creature itself is splendidly grotesque. It’s essentially a zombie with notes of John Carpenter’s Thing, and a little Cabin Fever flesh-eating disease tossed in for fun, and the mix of practical, and CGI really bring it to life.

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Splinter is definitely worth a watch, and is ranked high on my list of favourite horror films from 2008.

That’s all for today my dearest darklings, and as always stay scared!

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