Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mooney Does Movies: "Splinter"

Horror movies can be labeled in three categories: evil men, creature features, or supernatural (unknown forces, etc.) SPLINTER is a creature feature, although the reason for it existing is never explained.

This little direct-to-DVD features a bunch of new names (Jill Wagner, Shea Whigham, and Paulo Costanzo), and is directed by a first-time director Toby Wilkins.

Shame it had to go to DVD because its quality and fear factor is enough to make it a damn good theater release.

In short, the story is about a likeable couple who are off to celebrate their anniversary with an overnight camping trip. The camping trip doesn't work out, so they head into the nearest town and motel. Unfortunately, they are carjacked by another couple who have no qualms about holding a gun to their head.

Since cars still need gas, they stop at the next station to fill up, and that's where they come across SPLINTER, a faceless, formless entity who has already taken over the body of the gas attendent. And, unfortunately, the living dead guy comes after them to infect them as well.

The movie becomes a "hostage in a small space" saga with unexpected grossness, scares, and events, which I will not elaborate on for fear of spoilage. Suffice it to say, even I flinched at a couple of scenes.

The makeup and special effects are top notch. The acting is credible, and the ending is, well, typical. But overall, a damn good scare if you're in the mood for a no-brainer.

I give this one a three-quarter moon.

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