This movie is unlikely to make anyone's Top 10 list, but it is definitely one of the more entertaining horror films I've seen in the last couple of years. There have been so many appalling horror movies put out recently that it was refreshing to genuinely enjoy one from start to finish.
Of the number of remarkable successes that define Splinter, the most refreshing is the acting. Not to say that films of this genre are never associated with competent actors, but in this case not only has first time director Toby Wilkins managed to solicit some talent that beg to ask the question. . .Why have these people not appeared in other movies? . . . but is able to quite convincingly develop the story with just four main actors.
The premise is simple, as we find Polly (Jill Wagner) and Seth (Paulo Costanzo) on an anniversary vacation to the great outdoors, where they quickly abort a disastrous attempt in setting up the campsite. They mutually agree to call it quits and rent a motel room, which they agree, has to be dilapidated to offset their failed wilderness adventure. While on route to the motel, they stop to help an apparently stranded woman Lacey (Rachel Kerbs) a drug addict, who is in reality a distraction for the aggressive and violent Dennis (Shea Whingham), catching the adventurous campers off guard, so he is able to carjack the unsuspecting couple.
Taking Polly and Seth hostage, their fortunes continue to deteriorate after they strike a mysterious creature on the road, damaging the car and deflating a tyre. Quickly changing the wheel, they struggle to a nearby gas station where they soon find out that the thing they hit is not a woodland creature, but a spiked sea urchin formulation, a slimy parasitic contaminant that absorbs and kills whatever it touches. The survivors barricade themselves inside the gas station and try to deduce a plan to escape the hostile creature.
There is a cornucopia of gore in Splinter, which never seems excessive or vile
and certainly provides the fear, notably a mutilation scene that puts the
Hostel movies to shame. All the characters are interesting and intelligent
people who use their wits and brains to try to save their lives and do not
just scream and panic. The movie is tense and gory and does not drag for a
second. Special effects are middle-of-the-road but sufficient. So to conclude,
I am not a huge horror fan but I gave this film a chance and was not disappointed.