The Rube’s Review: Splinter (2008)
In this modern day of mundane masked killers and Shit-O-Vision™ nanny-cam ghost story shlockers (YAWN!), it’s nice to watch a horror movie that has an original threat while throwing a batch of strangers in a WHAT THE F*CK survival situation, that doesn’t involve running zombies, possessed children, or phantoms on their period… sometimes it all starts with a splinter.
I was really surprised when I saw Splinter, not only because it’s originality, but how much I hated the first 20 minutes and loved the remaining 70 minutes of this film. The first part is a waste of film, establishing that two people are actually a couple on their way to a campsite. After an exciting 5 minutes of a gas station attendant getting attacked by a WHAT THE F*CK forest critter, you have to painfully sit through mind-numbing character establishment of a couple driving to a campground, the “city boy” screwing up the tent, and then have them get back in the car in search of a motel.
ATTENTION: If anyone is writing a script right now that starts with 10 pages of useless dialog for the audience to get to know the characters as a couple, do us a favor and just highlight them and drag those precious pages to your trashbin icon because when we see a movie with a guy and a girl taking a road trip, WE ALREADY KNOW THAT THEY’RE A COUPLE. PERIOD! There is no reason to waste time establishing that. Of course, if they’re brother and sister (ie. Jeepers Creepers) that can be summed up by either saying, “Did you tell mom that we left…” or “So when are you going to tell mom that…”. If you really need to establish that they’re a couple, have them either show a quick moment of affection (from a driver arm over the woman’s shoulder to a quick kiss) and move on… (muffled rant via screaming pillow).
*huff huff huff* Okay, so after dealing with the romantic dead time of two characters with no onscreen chemistry, they pick up a junkie couple on the run from the law to the land of Corona and siestas. The boring couple is held at gunpoint when girl junkie mistakes an unfamiliar spiked road kill as a fresh hit, causing their truck to get a flat. The highjacker boyfriend covers Boring Girl as she changes a tire while Meth Girl and Boring Guy check on the roadkill. The scene gets weird as Meth Girl loses her shit and at gunpoint, wants Mr. Booklearn’n Boring Boy to revive the mesh of fur, blood, and black barbed spikes back to life.
After trying to explain to her that the woodland critter is 12 past dead, it springs back to life and tries to attack the two. Meth Girl unloads on the black spiked critter making sure that it’s deader than dead. In the heat of current events, The bad boyfriend finishes changing the tire but takes a spike in the finger. Soon the group is on their way but makes a pit stop to a familiar gas station, which is now abandoned but will soon be covered in blood, death, and black splinters.
What you think is going to be a continuous waste of time quickly turns into a great and original WHAT THE F*CK monster movie that is as cool as it is creepy. After shrugging off the boring beginning, Splinter makes you care about the survival of the group and makes one entertaining thrillride that promises to freak you out and want to share this unheard of flick to all of your horror friends.However, I think the best way to share this film is to invite your friends over and just start the DVD because even though this truly is a good movie, the less they know of what they’re watching, the bigger the payoff – guaranteeing your friends to say, WHAT THE F*CK IS THAT?!
This article is part of the Countdown to Halloween blogathon, a month-long blogging marathon dedicated to honoring the Halloween season. For more information and a full list of participating sites, please visit www.countdowntohalloween.com.