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SPLINTERED (BLU-RAY)
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Reviewed by: Pat Torfe

Directed by: Simeon Halligan

Starring:
Stephen Walters
Holly Weston
Sacha Dhawan
Sadie Pickering

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about

Sophie's been having some restless nights. To find the source of her nightmares, she and four of her friends travel into the woods of the North Wales countryside to investigate a series of animal attacks that are reportedly being carried out by a werewolf. Sophie believes that if she can see the beast for herself, it'll help her on the road to recovery. On the first night, Sophie hears something in the bushes and tracks it down to an abandoned Catholic orphanage. There she is captured by a man named Gavin, who tells her that for her own safety, she can't leave. A search and more weirdness ensues.

Is it good movie?
SPLINTERED looks quite good. Not only was the film shot using the super-slick RED camera, locations such as the interior of the abandoned orphanage give off the appropriately creepy vibes. Adding to this is the fact that much of the film takes place at night or in the dimly-lit orphanage, as well as being cast in a cold blue filter, which helps to heighten the creepiness.

Unfortunately, outside of the nifty look, SPLINTERED is a disappointment. Derivative is the name of this film's crutch, as almost everything in the film is stuff you've seen before. Not only are the characters the same ones that you've seen before: the virginal yet tortured heroine, the nice guy, the ass and his girlfriend and the tagalong brother. Adding to the misery is the fact that apart from our main protagonist, none of the characters are interesting enough to give a damn.

The film's misery doesn't end there. Along with the same tired characters and the premise of running around in the dark, SPLINTERED's pacing is slower than church. This leads to little or no suspense or tension, and frankly bored the crap out of me when I wasn't pissed off for wasting the time it took to watch this film. Nothing ever happens. Even the film's twists were lame, not counting the fact that you've seen them all before. Topping the sh*t sundae was the limp finale, which failed to explain certain aspects of the film that were there from the start. Because, you know, character motivation is kind of important, don't you think?

Face it: don't waste your pennies on this snorefest. It might've been nominated for a Spike Scream Award a few years back, but that's just one gore moment that obviously won't save this film from the bargain bin, nor will it get the 85 minutes I wasted on this mash-up of "been there, done that".

Video / Audio

Video: Being shot on the RED camera, you'd expect the video to look pretty good. And it does, to a point. The big problem that sort of negates the camera's use is the fact that the film is simply too dark to the point that nothing can be made out a lot of the time. As well, being tampered in post-production with filters has caused the fine details to be lost and the film to look flat at times. Other than that, it's an okay image.

Audio: The DTS-HD MA track, on the other hand, comes out quite well. There's a lot of use in the directionals and in the low-end, though the soundtrack kind of gets pushed to the back with all of the ruckus. As well, dialogue can be hard to hear. Still, it's a fairly immersive track that will get you going.

The Extras

The big extra is a Behind the Scenes featurette broken up into bite-sized pieces covering everything from the genesis of the film, the CGI effects, music, makeup, the actors and more. The entire collection is pretty comprehensive and put together fairly well, there's no 'Play All' feature. They do play in sequence from where you start, however.

Up next is a collection of Deleted Scenes that were clearly cut for pacing, since they do mostly the job of setting up the scenes that follow. As for the alternate endings included in the cut scenes, they're both part of the same ending, and function more as epilogues than anything else.

Finally, Promotional Material consists of two teaser trailers and a full-length trailer.

Last Call

SPLINTERED may look nice, but like certain celebrities, lacks anything worthwhile. Taking characters and situations from other horror films and stitching them together in hopes that something will gel is not the way you write or direct, and definitely not something you want to watch. The behind the scenes features are a little more interesting than the film itself, but can't save this buy from being a waste.

ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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