Splinter is a bit of lost film from around 2008-2009. In fact I was only made aware of it from my good bud Doc Rotten and only then do I think I remember a very brief push for the movie when it was originally released. So now I finally had the chance to go back and check it out. So how was Splinter? Was it a thorn full of horror goodness in my proverbial thumb or was it a big splinter in my proverbial ass that I couldn’t wait to turn off? Well read on and get your tweezers ready to pluck this bitch!
When you first begin to watch Splinter you will be tricked into thinking it’s going to be ‘yet another camping horror film’. This is understandable as two of the main characters are driving to go…camping. This quickly turns into a failure as both characters are inept at any kind of outdoors activity, especially hipster dude. So they quickly pack up and head for a motel. Along the way they meet some…not so friendly people who decide to join them (read criminals). As the movie turns into a hijacked road trip the vehicle runs over…something in the road that flattens the tire and pokes hole in the radiator.
What happens next finally sets up the premise for the rest of the movie. Tire gets fixed, one character gets splinter in his finger, vehicle overheats and character pull into a gas station where…shit gets real, real fast.
As the protagonist explore the gas station they find the attendant dead but moving with all kinds of spikes sticking out of them and bones breaking every second. What we see in quick camera movements is some sort of shambling monstrosity attacking our protagonists which result in them running like hell into the gas station and locking the fucking doors. As the movie plays out we are treated to different ideas as to what is going on and how they plan on trying to get out of the situation they are in all the while as a creature stalks them from the outside of the gas station. Also, we get a new definition of what pain can be with a splinter stuck in you. Let’s just say, if you have bones you will wish you didn’t.
I found Splinter to be a very entertaining movie even though it had a few flaws though minor. It was obvious the move was low budget due to how they had to shoot some of the scenes to avoid letting the viewer see what was going on. However overall the move was solid in the way it looked. It didn’t look low budget with everything else. The location where the movie took place and how it was used I felt was done really well. Being trapped in a gas station/convenience store was both a curse but yet a blessing as it allowed the characters to have access to a variety of goods to help them out but yet being a roadside gas station in a remote area meant they were cut off from possible help.
The one other flaw I found with the movie was towards the end when after we find out kind of how the creature hunted its prey the movie kind of abandoned this for sake of giving threat to the characters. This was really kind of minor and some other people may not take notice but it was something that kind of caught my attention.
I think Splinter is a really strong horror movie offering. It has an intimate setting, a decent to strong cast (especially the convict guy), some cringe worthy moments, an interesting ‘villain’ and they didn’t try to explain where things came from too much. If you notice at the beginning of the movie you will see a subtle hint as to where some of this stuff came from.
I thank Doc Rotten for bringing the movie to my attention as I really enjoyed Splinter and I also recommend it to people out there that are horror fans looking for a hidden gem.