I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have an affinity for imaginative lower budget horror movies.  Especially when you’re attempting a creature feature, if a huge budget isn’t an available option, the filmmakers must rely on clever (and cheaper) ways to accomplish the same ideas.  Splinter has practical effects, almost entirely takes place at a single location, and only has like six characters.  It’s bare bones, gritty, and fantastic.  Even though some of the ideas are definitely recycled (John Carpenter’s The Thing comes to mind), it all still feels very fresh here.  A main reason for all this love from me is because of the creature at the center of this film.  It’s just a groovy little invention.  It finally feels like a unique, AND NON-CGI, creation that we haven’t actually seen before.  The practical effects on display, and the creepy way in which they’re used, are top notch.  Here, the splinter parasite attacks people by sticking them with what looks like the spires of a sea urchin, and then uses their bodies as a type of puppet, manipulating them to its will.  What’s so cool to me isn’t that this is your typical body-snatchers (or The Thing) type of “you become one of us, but you still look like you” scenario.  No, here you definitely become a victim to the splinter, but rather than looking and acting like a normal human, instead your limp, splinter-ravaged body becomes more like a lifeless marionette, maneuvered in any way the creature wants it.  Its host’s herky-jerky movements are otherworldly and truly disturbing at times, especially when limbs are twisted the opposite direction they’re supposed to, and the aggressive nature of the creature really blossoms.  The visuals of the splinter creature are purely creepy, and honestly, this little low-budgeted beast should hold a place in the recent creature hall of fame for originality.  Watch, enjoy, and see how a damn fine creature feature can be made for around a million bucks.  Hats off, Toby Wilkins.  I love this movie.


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