As much as I enjoyed Vincenzo Natali's Sci-fi Horror hybrid, Splice, the film is littered with a number of minor issues that, for me, can be overlooked in the big scheme of things. However, one major problem I have with the film - and something that truly holds it back, in my opinion - is the final act where the viewer is given the long awaited opportunity to see what the man-made monster, Dren (Delphine Chanéac), is truly capable of. Obviously, this will be a complete spoiler, so go away if you've not already seen the movie. Don't get all pissy about it…you can come back later on after you've seen the movie. Anyway, as you know, Splice ends with a scene where it is believed that Dren - the creature created by Genetic engineers, Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) - is dead. Clive and Elsa take Dren's body and bury it outside of their secluded farmhouse where they had been hiding Dren from the always-pesky pesky-people that love to do pesky things. You know the type.
Soon afterwards, Clive and Elsa's poorly fleshed-out boss, William Barlow, shows up along with Clive's brother and co-worker, Gavin, when Dren - who underwent a metamorphosis that transformed her from a female, to a male - suddenly attacks both men. After killing both Barlow and Gavin, Dren goes on to rape Elsa and kill Clive after he stabs her with a branch. Elsa delivers the final blow with a rock to the head and that would seem to do it for Dren. Now, I should mention that this whole scene is very well put together - outside of the ridiculously handled rape, of course - and should work in a way that is a sort of a payoff for the slow moving, character driven time spent leading up to this action filled finale. The wooded setting is absolutely gorgeous, with how the moon's rays cast ominous shadows, illuminating the snow-covered ground to make for quite the incredible backdrop for a scene of violence and action.
So, where exactly does my problem lie with the ending of Splice? Well, as I mentioned earlier, before Dren attacks she makes a drastic transformation into a male. She becomes a different creature (despite being played by the same actress), and it's very clear that the monster known as Dren is not present in any real way that translates to film (because her internal thoughts and feelings clearly do not translate to celluloid). All of the time spent with Splice is time spent with Dren as she is. A female. We watch her grow and mature into what may be one of the finest looking monsters I have seen in quite some time. A truly original creature that is almost, dare I say it, sexy (I know, gross), but in a way that is dangerous and frightening at the same time. Dren has a horrifying elegance as a monster that goes well beyond Splice as a film, and it's a complete shame to sit through an entire movie with this wonderful creation, only to have it taken away at the last minute for the sake of a plot device.
And what was that plot device again? Earlier in the film, Clive and Elsa's purple booger experiment goes awry when the female hybrid creature they created turns into a male and the two purple boogers kill each other. This would seem to be the clue that Dren would also swap sexes, but the question is, why? Why does the purple booger have to change into a male to become volatile? Is it to show that the male is more aggressive than the female thus the male Dren attack scene at the film's end? Dren already showed intense signs of intense aggression and a lack of rational thought, so that throws that theory out the window. The only reasonable explanation to make Dren a man is solely to impregnate Elsa. Regardless of it serving the purpose of a cliffhanger/plot-twist, I really do not see any reason why Dren, as was, couldn't be capable of impregnating someone herself.
To ask your audience to suspend their disbelief and accept the fact that a female gendered science experiment, complete with a serious phallic symbol, could impregnate a human woman, is not the tallest of orders. No one knows how this created creature would mate, procreate, or do anything for that matter. If anything, I find it more believable to just have Dren be able to do this because she isn't a human and can quickly adapt to move her new brand of species forward. Evolution for the sake of survival. Her aggression, as well as that of the purple boogers, can be as simple as that, an experiment that resulted in chaos, which is sort of the film's point, correct?! Therefor, this entire unnecessary plot point serves no real purpose but to try to be smart, but instead takes away a major piece of the puzzle from what is essentially a monster film. It takes away the monster.
What sayeth you?!