Splinter (Blu-ray) (Widescreen) product details page

Splinter (Blu-ray) (Widescreen)

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$11.99 list: price $16.98 save $4.99 (29%)

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Splinter is a tight, taut little horror-thriller that demonstrates just how much scare you can pack into a miniscule budget and 82 minutes. The script (by Kai Berry and Ian Shorr) wastes little time getting its protagonists into a hairy situation, which then becomes hairier -- or, perhaps, "pricklier." The carjacking of Henry (Paolo Costanzo) and Polly (Jill Wagner) proves just the appetizer, as the camping couple gets cornered in a gas station with their kidnappers (Shea Whigham and Rachel Kerbs) while a zombie resembling the world's tallest porcupine tries to infect and absorb them. There are moments in Splinter that could have been silly if director and effects veteran Toby Wilkins hadn't had a solid plan for revealing his highly original monster. Instead of the clear, straight-on shot that can instantly sap the scare factor from a cheap-looking creature, Wilkins shoots the spiny abomination in flashes, its body lurching and flopping like a wet towel. Because he's dead serious in his setup, Wilkins gets away with a hand coming loose and attacking the cornered victims, without reminding us of Thing from The Addams Family. When it's a four-character movie, a lot rides on the actors, and this group doesn't disappoint, particularly the charismatic Whigham as the hot-tempered convict who may be more complicated than he seems. Such a simple setup allows Wilkins et al. to delve into the details, and it's fun to watch the characters use what's available in a backwoods gas station to fend off the predator. Their inventiveness not only says a lot about them as fascinating characters, but also about the cleverness of the screenwriters. Splinter is a hip and satisfying gem that didn't deserve to go unnoticed during its theatrical run. It should definitely be discovered on video, especially by lovers of smart genre films. Derek Armstrong, All Movie Guide

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