Directed by Toby Wilkins
Cast: Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo, Jill Wagner, Rachel Kerbs
Magnolia Home Entertainment / NTSC Region 1 / Rated R / 2.35:1 widescreen / ENGLISH Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 / SPANISH Subtitles / 82 minutes
Extras: The Splinter Creature / Creature Concept Art Gallery / The Wizard / Building the Gas Station / Shooting Digitally / Oklahoma Weather / How to Make a Splinter Pumpkin / HDNet: A Look at Splinter / Commentary with Director and Cast / Commentary with Director and Crew
Horror fan’s are a tough bunch. We take damaging hits watching new releases that suck. Sure we bleed, but somehow we don’t die. I’ve bled my fair share too, so it’s good to finally stumble upon a new-ish flick that supplies what horror fans crave. A movie that keeps things simple, but also throws a few new things at you in the process. Readers, Splinter is worth your time.
One big piece of criteria why Splinter is a good movie: no dumbass teenagers. That fact alone scores big points with me. With that out of the way, a couple in their mid-twenties are celebrating their anniversary by camping. They fail miserably at setting up their tent, so they go back into town to stay at a hotel. On the way there, they come upon a woman on the side of the road who needs help. Once they pull over, a mean looking guy comes out of nowhere drawing his gun on them. This turns out to be a criminal on the run and his tweaked-out girlfriend. They’re on their way to Mexico and need a lift. Okay, sounds a bit cliché. But it gets much better, and it doesn’t take long.
Our hijacked couple are taken to a back road gas station to fuel up. Not to give too much away, but one of the strangest monster/creatures shows up to make a bad situation way worse. Our protagonists are trapped in the gas station to figure out how the hell they’re going to escape with their lives. It’s not exactly a brand new situation, but in this case, it’s the way the movie is filmed, the building of tension and suspense, and the really cool creature effects that give this movie a boost over the competition. Splinter keeps things simple and hits you hard when it’s time to bring on the horror. Highly recommended for jaded horror fans who need a shot in the arm to remind them why they’re genre enthusiasts.
Magnolia Home Entertainment dishes out an entertaining batch of extras that mostly involve creature effects and set-building. The commentaries are informative and worthwhile to hear. Though the movie was shot digitally, the image and sound are high quality. The image also owns a certain grittiness that really fits with this kind of movie. Overall a great release. Splinter is just what I needed.