The movie SPLICE is a French/Canadian production, and deals with genetic engineering that goes horribly wrong, or does it? I suppose it depends on personal opinion in this case. Two genetic engineers are working on splicing animal DNA and have success in this area. They want to progress and begin to experiment with animal DNA being spliced with the DNA of humans. The company they work for are against this as they want the two scientists to continue with their work so that they may make money. What happens is that the two scientists continue their work for the company, but at the same time pursue their own avenue of experiments. The end result is a human like creature DREN, I wont give away any more of the films intriguing, sad and at times harrowing plot, but let us just say things do not end happily, and there is certainly a twist in this tail.
One of the striking components of this movie is the musical score by composer Cyrille Aufort, maybe not a name that is familiar to many collectors, but we have heard this composers work as an orchestrator for Alexandre Desplat and at times this style shines through within the score to SPLICE. This is a score that contains many attributes and styles, it is a multi mood work, which combines light and dark colourings alongside dramatic, unsettling and poignant textures. The composer at times delivering subtle nuances that create an unsettling but at the same time calming effect upon the listener. It is one of those rare motion picture scores, that fuses romantically slanted compositions with tense almost fraught sounding moments seamlessly. Aufort, utilising a varied palette of instrumentation to bring to fruition a score that is enticing and attractive. Track number 1, MAIN TITLES, is a double edged sword of a composition, It begins with a delicate almost fragile sounding theme picked out on piano that is punctuated by slightly sinister sounding effects and underlined by strings, this theme builds and swells when it is handed to the strings which give it a near lush sound, it glides along like some macabre sounding waltz, until it melts away quite swiftly and is overwhelmed by a dramatic crescendo of sorts which bring the cue to its conclusion. Track 2, FRED MEETS GINGER, again begins softly and takes the form of a composition that could be deemed to be a love theme, but it has an undertone to it, a secondary sound that radiates an uneasy atmosphere.
John Barry is a Master of this type of scoring, and Aufort I think has many things in common with Barry. Track 3, BIRTH SCENE, is a more tense sounding cue, low strings and brass form the foundation of the composition, as it builds into a fairly hurried paced piece that contains fearsome sounding brass stabs that interrupt harrowing and swirling strings, with percussion adding a authoritative enhancement to the proceedings, this combination fades to give way to a sombre and rather low key ending which is performed by the string section. Track 4, is ELSA’S THEME, which is a hauntingly melodic piece that again posses two emotions projecting an atmosphere that is both warm but sombre. Track number THE LOVE SCENE, is an enticing and rich sounding cue, again I sense a certain Barry-esque sound to it, low sounding strings acting as a platform to a fragile sounding piano solo that is lightly picking out part of the scores central theme. This is a fascinating score for a movie that I think will stir up some interest, and the composer should be congratulated for creating such an atmospheric and haunting work.