Wednesday, 8 September 2010



I am going to need glasses at this rate. Here's a movie that's mainly lit by one torch and the occasional mobile phone display and takes place principally in an unlit building or unlit woods in the middle of the night. Unless you're watching this inside a coal bunker, any image on the screen is going to be drowned out by whatever ambient light is to hand - someone lighting a candle two counties away for example. The result is a lot of shots that could be anything, frankly - hardcore pornography, farmyard animals doing the charleston - because you can't make it out.

Sadly, even if someone did let off a bunch of magnesium flares and you could see what was going on, Splintered would probably disappoint. Five uninteresting idiots drive deep into the Welsh countryside looking for the mysterious creature that's supposedly prowling the area. Could it be a big cat along the lines of The Beast Of Bodmin? Could it be a werewolf? Could it be a boy from the now derelict Catholic orphanage, long believed dead after having murdered the priest who used to mistreat him, but now grown up and behaving like the dogs he was forced to live with? Anyway, two of our idiots (one of whom is, significantly, pure and virginal) wander off into the dark and follow the mysterious noises - he gets attacked and she gets locked in an upstairs room, supposedly to protect her from the Beast....

Our heroes are completely disposable idiots and it's hard to feel anything when any of them gets offed (except in one case where the victim is such a charmless git that the Beast should be awarded an MBE at the very least for services to the human gene pool), and the passable ideas are lost in the unfathomable murk, even on DVD. (Goodness knows what a VHS release would look like.) It's a pity, because it could have been okay, given some better characters and the purchase of a couple of 60W bulbs.


Intriguingly, my copy of the DVD froze up after 67 minutes. By chance, I'd received a second copy (I'm on with two online rental companies), yet the second disc froze as well, at the exact same frame. That's either the mother of all coincidences or possibly a manufacturing problem. I saw the final 20 minutes or so on the computer, where it played fine.

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