Viewed – 08 January 2011  Blu-ray

This strange sci-fi drama follows the story of two scientists (Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody) who splice the DNA of different animals to create a new species.  Yet when the big wigs push them to create a formula that can be mass marketed, and close their labs down, the duo are forced to continue their work in secret.   As you can imagine, creating a new life form from animal DNA is just the tip of the iceberg, and soon they splice this formula with human DNA to create something even more ground breaking.  Dren is born, a female with rapid growth who despite sporting decidedly bird-like legs, takes on very human characteristics, and naturally the scientists become attached to her.

A weird experience, kind of a cross between David Cronenberg’s The Fly and H R Geiger inspired horror Species.  Dren herself looks like a cross between Natalie Portman, Sinead O’Conner and a Velociraptor – not a good combination!  Yet the story of the two rogue scientists, their relationship and of Sarah Polley’s murky past lacked depth, only hinting at who these characters are.  For me though the biggest complaint was that the story never seemed to get going, and just as it did … it ended.  Also there’s some very strange, freaky ideas at play here, and even though I see where the writers were coming from, shock value and trying to be clever – they left a bad taste in my mouth.  Some moments were just plain wrong in my opinion.

Yet the acting is competent, the girl playing Dren (Delphine Chaneac) was impressive, and the whole thing did look the business with stylish camera work and quality make up effects (the influence of producer Guillermo Del Toro obvious) , so with that in mind, this is still worth a look.

Verdict:  3 /5

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