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December 2010

Splintered

cast: Holly Weston, David Bowen, Jace Desay, Sacha Dhawan, and Sadie Pickering

director: Simeon Halligan

85 minutes (18) 2008
widescreen ratio 16:9
Kaleidoscope DVD Region 2

RATING: 5/10
review by Jason D. Brawn

Splintered

Outcast teenager, Sophie (Holly Weston), takes her close friends to the north Welsh countryside, to check out the existence of an unnameable beast. While venturing off into the woods, two of her friends come across an abandoned building that promises no escape. I am not giving much away about this film, but can say I rather enjoyed this film more as it tells a simple story, but is totally let down by the payoff. Also, there is some padding, which might bore viewers, but please have patience with it.

The opening scene, which explains her tortured past, is unnecessary and corny, as in most American horror films. Also to a point, it draws some influence from many slasher flicks, like Scream (1996), where the lead protagonist was, of course, a virgin with a horrifying past involving a close family member. The characters are youngsters who don't follow the how to survive a slasher film guide: the rich idiot, Sam (Sacha Dhawan), who deserves to get killed; the impatient love interest, John (Sol Heras), only interested in having sex with Sophie; and the other young couple, who became Sophie's aides.

Unlike most slasher films, the film doesn't contain any sex and there are a few reminisces about the Universal horrors, Blair Witch Project, or Texas Chain Saw Massacre. This is not an original film, but Splintered is interesting although, as a horror fan, I expected a big bang and got a little bored with the monsters' backstory, which almost ruins the film. Most horror stories are better without an explanation.

It would have been a much better film, if the creature was more psychological to Sophie's mind, and begged the question of whether or not she was the killer. Instead, we got two creatures (good and bad) which my guess is, they were both werewolves. Part slasher and part supernatural, this could have been a much better film if only the script was cleverer. However, it's a good debut from director Simeon Halligan.



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