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Splintered (DVD / Bluray Combo)
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Somewhere prowling in the darkest corner of a desolate, abandoned building on the edge of a wilderness is a dangerous animal. It's a human animal that lives by the rules of the wild, where survival is the only concern.
This creature of the night uses cunning and instinct to hunt and kill for pleasure. He has no qualms about his actions; he lives by his desires and he'll take what he wants.
SOPHIE, a teenager with a troubled past, strays into the abandoned building on a dare. She discovers what it's like to become the object of this animal's obsessive desire when she's locked in an isolated room, where no one can hear her screams.
In the night, sitting in the pitch black, waiting for the inevitable, Sophie is terrified by the the obsessive stare through the skylight of the impromptu jail.
Daylight brings GAVIN. He keeps the animal at bay as best he can. A protector of sorts, but a protector who also keeps her locked away. What bizarre relationship does this self appointed jailer have with the elusive prowling creature beyond the door?
Sophie's attempts at escape repeatedly end in failure, but she clings to the hope that she will be rescued by her friends, despite her fears of what might happen to them, if they come too close to the vicious animal?
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The film opens with Sophie, a little girl being traumatized by something unknown, and then jumps forward to the present, where someplace in north Wales, a grown Sophie (Holly Weston) and four other college-age students are in the woods looking to do some camping. Also along are Sophie's friend Jane (Sadie Pickering), Jane's boyfriend Sam (Sacha Dhawn), Jane's brother Dean (Jonathan Readwin), and John (Sol Heras).
Sophie is interested getting some evidence about a mysterious beast that has been attacking farm animals. After making camp, the group is settling in for the night, when Sophie sees something in the woods, and goes off with John to investigate. They eventually find St. Joseph's, a huge estate in the middle of the woods. They enter the abandoned facility, and find signs of a slaughtered lamb. Something comes out of the dark, and Sophie knocks herself unconscious running away. She wakes up locked in a room, being held prisoner by a strange dwarfish man named Gavin (Stephen Walters).
Sophie makes several attempts to escape, and although she does some intelligent things, she somehow manages to mess up. Sophie's friends, also stumble across St. Josephs, which is actually an abandoned church. John encounters a priest named Father Thomas (Colin Tierney), and they also arrive at the church, for the dramatic climax.
Given how silly and annoying she is, it's rather difficult to get behind Sophie, who makes noises or screaming at just the wrong time, and isn't much help when others are in danger. Truthfully, the sloppy writing doesn't put any of the actors in a very good light, although Stephen Walters puts a lot of energy into his performance.
The story has a clichéd religious aspect, with Father Thomas conveniently showing up, intending to commit murder. Another familiar ploy, is featuring an actor in a dual role. There are also flashbacks and dream sequences, which serve mostly to confuse and mislead, as Splintered never intends to present a clear story. The point is simply to place the characters in peril, and then kill them off, with suspense taking precedence over rational behavior.
Spooky St. Joseph's makes a great location, although it could have been utilized better. A nighttime rooftop chase scene falls short in the execution, but at least it's an attempt at something visually striking. The film does have a few decent ideas, but they are forced together into a story that doesn't make much sense. A twist at the end isn't exactly a surprise, although the ferocity of the violence might be. Splintered is a muddled mess that is hard to recommend to anyone, except hardcore gore fans, as the filmmakers don't give the audience much credit for intelligence.
Shot using a Red camera, the Bluray seems to offer a slight improvement in image quality over the DVD. Both formats each have the same extras, a making of featurette, and deleted scenes with an alternate ending that isn't an improvement. The deleted scenes indicate how much story and character development was sacrificed, to produce a story that was more raw and ambiguous. Rating: 2.5 stars.
We find out the girl's name is Sophie (Holly Weston). She is a young adult and still has bad dreams. There has been some killings by some unknown animal. Sophie and 4 others decide they want to capture the animal...on film. She is obsessed with werewolves and appears to be a frigid virgin. Sam (Sacha Dhawan) is the far too frank skeptic who supplies us with internal conflict within the group. Jane (Sadie Pickering) is his girlfriend and considers herself to be a soul mate of the aloof moody Sophie. John (Sol Heras) is Sophie's boyfriend (I feel your pain). Dean (Jonathan Readwin) is the fifth wheel, brother to Jane, has a digital movie camera.
Eventually, following a trail, Sophie finds an abandoned building that looks like a large mental hospital, where beauty winds up as prisoner of the beast's psycho keeper, a wild eyed man who talks to himself (Stephen Walters). Sophia (named for the goddess of wisdom) is resourceful and clever.
The movie starts out like it is going to be a great offbeat werewolf film and then digresses into a psycho slasher movie. There are some twists at the end that were slightly developed, but you don't realize it at the time. Good job by Holly Weston. Decent story line but couldn't properly be told in 90 minutes.
F-bomb, brief nudity (Holly Weston), no sex.
You have seen this movie at least a dozen times. Innocent, or maybe not so innocent but she's certainly done nothing to deserve this, girl is abducted by someone or something and imprisoned. There is someone close by who may or may not be able to help her, but is useful for passing information through to the captive (and, by extension, to the viewers). There is a Big Reveal about the killer, and often whether the viewer is left with a good taste in his or her mouth about the movie turns on whether that Big Reveal works. (I'm not sure it did here, I don't think this movie could have been saved one way or the other.) It's a well-established framework that lazy scriptwriters insert characters into for an almost instantly-completed movie. The end result, given that you are using a well-established framework, is utterly predictable and very rarely worth your time. Such is the case with Splintered. *