Splinter (2008) A hideous parasite/monster/ thing that leaps out from the darkness and flings its deadly thorns at unsuspecting gas-station attendants/troubled women/others-to-be-named-later can be a beautiful sight.… 2008-10-31 R PT82M Horror Shea Whigham Paulo Costanzo Magnet
Movie Review

Splinter (2008)

MPAA Rating: R
Splinter | STUCK INSIDE OF MOBIL Paulo Castanzo at the gas station
STUCK INSIDE OF MOBIL Paulo Castanzo at the gas station
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Limited Release: Oct 31, 2008; Rated: R; Length: 82 Minutes; Genre: Horror; With: Shea Whigham; Distributor: Magnet

A hideous parasite/monster/thing that leaps out from the darkness and flings its deadly thorns at unsuspecting gas-station attendants/troubled women/others-to-be-named-later can be a beautiful sight. It sure is in Splinter, a nifty horror movie that doesn’t claim to be anything other than a zippy exercise in creature-feature entertainment. And on that score, this lithe, low-budget people-versus- insatiable-bloodsucker comedy of horrors works like a charm. Or is it an expert curse?

Toby Wilkins, a British visual-effects pro, makes his fine, scary-funny, gore-splattered feature directorial debut after a series of fan-fave shorts. His splinter-spewing entity, which turns victims into undead hosts, is itself barely seen; it's the needle-stuck who receive the F/X love, with even more attention lavished on psychological shifts among a trio of squabblers who lock themselves into a forlorn, fluorescent-lit gas station and peer nervously into the blackness. The threesome — an imposingly competent, outdoorsy young woman (Jill Wagner), her wussy, indoorsy scientist husband (Paulo Costanzo), and a short- tempered, carjacking escaped con (Shea Whigham, hunky as a baddie) — may have issues with one another. But they had better find a way to bond, hadn't they, if they want to save their hides from a stick in the pants? B+

Originally posted Oct 29, 2008 Published in issue #1019 Nov 07, 2008 Order article reprints