Somewhere prowling in the darkest corner of a desolate, abandoned building on the edge of a wilderness is a dangerous animal. It's a human animal that lives by the rules of the wild, where survival is the only concern. This creature of the night uses cunning and instinct to hunt and kill for pleasure. He has no qualms about his actions; he lives by his desires and he'll take what he wants. SOPHIE, a teenager with a troubled past, strays into the abandoned building on a dare. She discovers what it's like to become the object of this animal's obsessive desire when she's locked in an isolated room, where no one can hear her screams. In the night, sitting in the pitch black, waiting for the inevitable, Sophie is terrified by the the obsessive stare through the skylight of the impromptu jail. Daylight brings GAVIN. He keeps the animal at bay as best he can. A protector of sorts, but a protector who also keeps her locked away. What bizarre relationship does this self appointed jailer have with the elusive prowling creature beyond the door? Sophie's attempts at escape repeatedly end in failure, but she clings to the hope that she will be rescued by her friends, despite her fears of what might happen to them, if they come too close to the vicious animal?
In SPLINTERED, Sophie has been haunted by by nightmares of a half-man-half beast creature since her childhood. She is convinced that the creature is real, so when news reports involving the slaying of various sheep and a farmer begin to make headlines, Sophie convinces three close friends to go on a trip with her into the woods to find the beast of her nightmarish visions. Despite not believing Sophie's claims, the friends agree to the excursion, however, tension mounts within the group. Such tension eventually causes a spat between friends, which then causes Sophie, as well as her friend, John to break away from the other two. They hike their way up the trail until finally reaching a rundown orphanage. Once inside they find that within the rundown building lies a trail of blood and animal remains. To their shock they are soon face to face with what appears to be a clawed beast. During the scuffle, Sophie is knocked unconscious, however, when she awakes, she finds herself locked away in a cell like room located somewhere in the orphanage. Sophie eventually is able to escape the room, however what she finds on the other side of the door, would soon beg the question, would she have been safer had she just remained locked in?
Well, here's a first for me I believe, a Horror film that hails from Wales in the UK. The film in question is of course the Horror Creature Feature(well, sort of) known as SPLINTERED. The film is very much about a girl chasing her imagination, people don't believe Sophie when she speaks of the half-man-half beast(werewolf-like) creature that she has feared since childhood. So when it appears that the creature in her memories might be real, she sets off to find it, to be more at peace with herself. But of course this journey for truth turns out he be a whole lot of trouble for Sophie and her friends. In the end, Sophie does friend what she is searching for, but unfortunately, the beast is strangely attracted to her, and it's out for blood - virgin blood!
The plot for SPLINTERED is pretty simple and not as complicated as it possibly could have been. This is, in my opinion, a good thing, as this results in a film that is easy to follow and is just fun overall. Although it is not full of twists and turns, it does do a decent job of keeping what's to come under wraps. Just when you think that it could do one way, it goes in a different direction. For awhile, while watching this, at one point, I thought that it might be heading down a familiar and predictable path, and although I was sort of partially correct, overall, the film's last act ended up moving in a very different direction than I once believed it to be going. Usually conclusions to Creature Features tend to be predictable and abrupt, and more times than not, they're let downs. But when speaking of SPLINTERED, i'd have to say that I was fairly pleased with it. The ending is action packed, while maintaining the pacing that the film keeps for its entire run time, the film doesn't compromise its momentum in favor of some kind of thought provoking ending. It was nice to see the film maintain a steady pace trough out, rather than being the typical up and down roller coaster ride that many a Horror film feeds to its viewers. Likely one flaw that SPLINTER has is the fact that it is simple, and like I said, this happens to also be one of the film's highlights. This does make the film a breezy effort, but some my think that SPLINTERED doesn't serve much of a challenge, everything is basically spoon fed, with no real twists and turns through out. Personally, I liked SPLINTERED as is, but I know that there is bound to be those people who who believe that the film is too "easy".
SPLINTERED, is a low budget effort, yet it has pretty good production values going for it. The effects are decent, and the building used for the orphanage is both creepy and atmospheric, and serves as the ideal platform for the film's most intense scenes. The overall mood of the film is set to dark and gloomy, which looks great on the RED camera. Some people consider using this particular camera "cheating", because the camera makes everything look better, however, I believe that for low budget films(especially good ones), it is a great asset to have. The film looks and sounds great, and visually, it does as it should, which is to keep the viewer interested in what is going on in the film.
Also contributing greatly to the film, is the film's acting. Overall, the film is lead by a couple of great performances, most notably from Holly Weston as "Sophie" and Stephen Martin Walters, as "Gavin" and "Vincent". Weston portrays a teen that is sort of troubled in Sophie. Sophie is both intrigued and plagued by this beast creature who very well might represent something from her past, thus she is rather vulnerable, through this vulnerability, she is a likable type of character. She is also another one of those female characters who evolve though the course of a film. By the time,the film nears the film's final half, she is essentially a hero of sorts. Stephen Martin Walters portrays duel roles here as both Gavin and Vincent. Although I cant say much about these characters, without spoiling a good portion of the plot, I can say that Walters brings charisma to both roles.
To sum up SPLINTERED, I wasn't expecting much as I went into it, and better yet, I hadn't even heard of it. But to my surprise, SPLINTERED turned out to be not that bad at all. Yes it may have a few flaws here and there, but I felt that none were significant, and just enjoyed the film for what it is, which is a simple, quickly paced, Creature Feature.
4.5/10 The score for SPLINTERED is an atmospheric, synthesizer score that ranges from somber to intense depending on the scene. Although I can't recall much about it, i'd say that it fits the appropriate scenes as needed.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
As mentioned, I didn't expect much from this Welsh made Horror film as I went into it, but I really enjoyed it for the most part. I thought that the film was an effort well done. It was competently directed and acted, and the story kept me interested, and sometimes, in a Horror film that's all you can ask for. With that said, I know there are people who won't feel the same way about SPLINTERED, so all I can suggest is to see it for yourself and then form your own opinion. However, I do feel that it is worth a look!