Splinter is a horror movie about a black quilled parasite that will consume it host. Splinter uses it host body to feed and to infect others. The plot is centered around two couples, one is on their anniversary while the other is on the run from the law. When they intersect they meet a portion of Splinter, and usually the need for a stop leads them trapped with a larger colony of Splinter. The film uses a small cast of 6 people. One of the leads is Paulo Costanzo from Royal Pains. As Splinter is more of puppetry and practical effect, and possible with minor CGI. The monster is not over explained and is left mysterious on what it is.
I find body horror both terrifying and fascinating depending on how it is portrayed. It could depend on the effect on or the personality of the person it is happening too. If the transformation was intentional to remove the frailty of the human body to become some eldritch abomination messenger of a Lovecraftian god. Or infected with some kind of alien or some yet to be discovered earth organism. The concept of Splinter is realistic as there are types of parasites that do control a host body and control their movements. The host is nothing more than a puppet ether to become a husk or prey for a predator as the parasite’s life cycle. The description of the movie calls it a zombie rather than a Necromorph. Contorting a body into a jumbled mess moving around as if an insect walking into a human body. The cracking bones and the torn flesh as black spike, and black ooze out of the husk remain of a person. Back to body horror topic of the change it brings on to the infected person. Be it zombie, werewolf, a parasite that has jumped to another host, Vampire to a lesser extent as they still have their personality. While the former it more the infection spreads it will change the person completely. The physical transformation changes more of chemical and cellular changes from the inside out. There could be hope for a cure for the infected but you are racing against an invisible clock.
As with all monster of week movies it hints as possible sequel. I would be interested to see where it could go. Will this Splinter expand into a large population, how long would it take to spread and is there any chance to survive? Which could lead to a national pandemic to contain Splinter and there could be someone trying to weaponize it. Due to the small cast of character helps center the story and intensify the danger of Splinter
Splinter uses it’s location very well as it has limited movement possible in the first 15 minutes where the movie starts and ends at a gas station in the mind of nowhere. Trapped in a rest stop is both claustrophobia and not at the same time. As with any siege movie in which you use what you got, keep the enemy out. All the while to get help or escape if the enemy gets inside.
The only negative I have is the shaking camera. But it works with panic and terror the characters are feeling it as you are there with characters. If you are looking for a large body count there are not many characters. But there is no cannon fodder thrown at the monster. I would recommend Splinter to anyone that loves John Carpenter The Thing or a fan of the Dead Space franchise. Both Splinter came out the same year and month as the first dead space October 2008, possible coincidence. In an hour and 22 mins it is an interesting concept and possible drawing from real world parasites.
Splinter can be streamed on TubiTV