Splinter (2008)

splinter poster 2008 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Creepy monster design

Low budget doesn't allow you to see much of the neat design

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Splinter

Studio:  Magnolia Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  October 31, 2008

MPAA Rating:  R


I’ve felt better…

Seth Belzer (Paulo Costanzo) and Polly Watt (Jill Wagner) are on a weekend camping trip to the woods.  When they are carjacked by Dennis Farell (Shea Whigham) and Lacey Belisle (Rachel Kerbs), a couple on the run, things turn from bad to worse when they run over a strange creature in the road.  The creature is infected with something which spreads and moves through splinters.  Pulling into a nearby gas station, the group becomes trapped by a man infected by this organism and find themselves fighting for survival.  The organism moves on instinct, cannot be reasoned with, and won’t stop until they are all infected.

Directed by Toby Wilkins, Splinter was a low budget horror film released in theaters in 2008.  The small movie received relatively positive reviews and was nominated for awards from horror organizations.


It is like Thing…from the Addams Family…with spikes

Splinter does have its moments.  The horror feels pretty classic with the idea of the characters trapped in a building and tortured by a creature that they don’t understand.  With a very traditional set-up, Splinter almost feels like a traditional monster movie and combines aspects of horror with a zombie movie.

I like Splinter’s basic story, but I wish the plot had done more once the characters reach the gas station.  It seems that a biologist would make the connection that the creature is attracted to heat a lot quicker and that there would be a better solution than freezing yourself.  The movie kind of stalls at this point and what once was an interesting and clever movie fails to become very innovative.


Cool…now what the hell are we looking at?

The movie also struggles with its lead actors.  Shea Whigham is the strongest actor in this film and has gone on to be an important player in Boardwalk Empire on HBO, but of course here, he’s the criminal with the heart of gold.  Jill Wagner is a little much as the “likes to fight” girl who doesn’t play her abduction very smart, and Paulo Costanzo is out and out annoying as her wishy-washy boyfriend.

I like the Splinter creature…I just wish I could have seen it.  The film is pretty low budget so the images of the creature are fleeting as the creature thrashes around.  I like the visuals of splinters as it quivers and shakes, but let us see the creature more…parts of a hand on the ground don’t cut it here.

Splinter is horror at its basic level and makes use of classic monster ideas.  The movie leaves room for a sequel, but there hasn’t been one to develop as of yet.  I wouldn’t mind revisiting Splinter with a bigger budget, a more developed story, and a bit better actors.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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