Review: Splintered (2011)
Review by Annie Riordan
The title of this film confuses me. There’s not a single splinter to be found, either of the mental or the wooden variety. And although I’m sure I could have had more fun digging an actual splinter out of my own flesh with a rusty pair of tweezers than I had watching this steaming puddle of dog diarrhea, I don’t think that’s what the filmmakers were going for either. I think the movie and its makers wanted us to believe that this is a werewolf movie, but had I been the one to choose a title, I would have picked something more straightforward. Like “Snow White and The Seven Stupid-As-Fuck Stereotypes.”
Snow White – here called Sophie – is a sullen goth girl with a dark past, no spinal cord, a shitty attitude and one friend, a dumb, shrieky blond named Jane whose face couldn’t be blander if it had been carved out of butter and left to melt in the sun. Sophie wants to make a documentary about some mad beast that’s been terrorizing northern Wales, but since she’s such an unlikable bitch, it’s up to Jane to bring the rest of the stereotypes along for the inevitable body count. Hence, her asshole boyfriend, her dorky brother and That One Guy who wants to get into Sophie’s pants are brought along for the ride.
I have trouble believing that any self respecting British teenager would actually drink Coors Light, but at the point in the film where a case of the aforementioned watery piss-brew is produced, I started waiting for them all to die and hoping it would be exceedingly painful. Coors Light? In ENGLAND? Come on, guys. We don’t even drink that shit here. At least get some PBR, for fucks sake. Anyway, beer is consumed, pot is smoked, full moon is out and teen drama erupts like a festering zit all over our meager campfire, driving Sophie into the woods to cry and That One Guy (I think his name might have been John) after her in hopes of getting some Pity Pussy. Instead, Sophie decides it would be a really great idea to follow the dark hulking shape she spots in the bushes without telling anyone else where they’re going, and off she and John go to meet their doom, tra la.
Luckily, they built camp right next to a rotting orphanage in the woods. Luckilier, that’s exactly where the mad beast is lurking. Even luckiest of all, they run into a whole shitload of new characters who are perfectly willing to pause in the middle of a killing spree and calmly fill us in on the backstory, complete with cheesy flashbacks and flowery speech that no one has utilized in real life since Jane Austen died. John gets his guts ripped out, Sophie is locked in a cell by a drooling idiot who makes William Sanderson (and his brother Daryl, and his other brother Daryl) look macho by comparison, and the three remaining dolts – none of whom could outwit a pack of Gummi Bears, by the way – have to go looking for them. Because even though Sophie makes a couple of escape attempts, she’s too busy crying and whining and gasping and screaming to really do herself any good.
Finally however, she does escape her prison and then it’s run run run, almost get caught, run some more, hide, slow down, wait for beast to catch up, run run run, stupidly stand and watch as beast disembowels a few people, run, hide, etc etc. Shit, this film makes the Keystone Cops look stunningly competent. The overwrought, maudlin, melodramatic dialog couldn’t possibly be any more treacly if it had been soaked in a barrel of molasses first. And the neverending ending…oh god yes, PLEASE hit the bad guy over the head, drop the weapon close by his hand and walk away without looking back, giving said bad guy ample opportunity to regain consciousness, sit up, grab weapon and come after you AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN, because I just love seeing that outdated ploy used over and over and FUCKING OVER again until the urge to bash my own skull in with a hammer to remove the imprint of ineptitude that your film has projected onto it becomes overwhelming.
Oh yeah, remember when I said that this might have been intended as a werewolf movie? Yeah, well, it isn’t, no matter how much it tries to convince you otherwise. Unless the definition of “werewolf” has changed recently to include somewhat irritable rat terriers, then no – it’s not a fucking werewolf movie. What it IS is a fucking mess and a gross waste of time. Indeed, if horror movies were beers, this would be the Coors Light of the bunch: watered down, flavorless and incapable of providing a decent buzz.
Splintered is available now on Region 1 DVD and Blu-Ray from Well Go USA.