“Splinter” infects viewers with horror
In Toby Wilkins’ “Splinter,” a couple who just wants to spend their anniversary camping come upon an unexplained terror from the woods. Jill Wagner (“Blade: The Series”) plays Polly, a capable woman taking her somewhat nerdy boyfriend Seth (Paulo Constanzo, “Joey”) out for an sexy outdoor rendezvous on their anniversary. But after a tent mishap, the two decide to head for a motel. Along the way, they stop to pick up a woman (Rachel Kerbs). But it turns out she and her just-released-from-prison boyfriend (played by Shea Wigham, “Tigerland”) want to hijack their SUV, with them still in it.
After the truck hits a raccoon – infected by a strange plague – the foursome are stuck in a rural Oklahoma gas station. And that’s where the “splinter” plague intends to pick them off.
While plot-wise, it’s not that different from many a horror movie, this movie shines in the acting and execution. This movie is absolutely trying to scare you – and despite some gory scenes, it’s not doing it with only gore. There’s psychological suspense and creeping dread. While monster fans might be disappointed that, for much of the film, there are only glimpses and quick looks at the monster, it’s an effective way of sharing with the audience the uncertainty and fear of the characters.
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