I just finished steven shaviro’s review of this film so i feel a bit humbled writing down my own hasty thoughts via thumb board, but here we go
Splice is essentially, del toro tells us in the extras, “a fucked up family story.” Of course fucked up family stories are a speciality in greek writing, the gods and the titans are particularly fucked up families oedipus? Fucked up family. Electra? Very fucked up family. Splice tells a story of a very electra like up bringing, girl raised by mom loves mom till sex comes up and loves dad… splice’s surprise ending is perhaps do to the fact that the girl is part fish and dies postorgasm. The film does not test, it provides no background to suggest if this complex is in fact “natural” and somehow accessed genetically even in transspieces organisms or is a product of the claustrophobia of the film, dren our transhuman girl is limited in contact with 3 other human beings, so it seems inevitable that her sexuality will form around these two, why she picka guys, especially one who abused her, is another mater.
The film caresses in bioethics, like richard power’s galatea, the observers of the experiment lose their detachment and form very human bonds with the creature. If the film has a paradox its that the moralless sterility of math and the thrill of invention can produce objects that stand outside of their produxtion. Dren is the result of master equations and some complex chemistry, but her mental life and emotions are very real. The god buttons these scientests press produce an object that’s complexity and behavoir are far less easy to control, determinism in splice is less compulsory as tempting, we want to love dren and we’re even tempted to desire her sexually… gulp ok provided you desire women (her male form strangely i didn’t find attractive). The film’s speculations seem to capture a couple that borders on granting their creation acceptance socially but in the background still view her as an object, as property. Splice reminds of octavia butler in the way it mamages to convey that love can be given and intelligence accorded to what is still an object and that love can be the exact factor that leads to abuse, debasement, its when they take dren as a human that they commit their worst sins.