La Belle Dame Sans Merci

I know what this blog has been missing: horror. Well, that and puppies, but that’ll have to wait for another time.
I’ve mentioned before how I’m often disappointed to find that concept art seems to lose something in translation on the way to the screen. So it was interesting to see that the creepiness of Peter Konig’s design work for the upcoming film Splice is still evident in the subtly altered features of actress Delphine Chanéac, if the stills posted on Bloody Disgusting are anything to go by.
It’s the enlarged eyes and extended distance between them that seem to make the difference. It’s a small bit of digital fiddling, but it pays off, to my mind anyway, way more than all the grotesqueries built on gargantuan rendering times and oozing with slime. Considering how hard animators are working to drag their creations out of the Uncanny Valley (I’m looking at you Polar Express and Beowulf), it’s interesting to see people working in the opposite direction. I cropped and paired a Bloody Disgusting still with another piece of concept work from Ain’t It Cool News for comparison (“Splice! Those jelly doughnuts were supposed to be for everybody!”). There was actually a photo of Chanéac’s face that demonstrated the weirdness of the effect much better on BD, but the site was ordered to remove it by the distributor. Which makes the second time they’ve cried cease and desist since they did the same to AICN. Free publicity isn’t worth what it used to be I suppose.

Whether the film’s narrative will prove equally subtle remains to be seen. No doubt she’ll eat someone. Perhaps she’ll ask the inevitable question posed by all Sci-Fi monstrosities possessed of XX chromosomes: “What is… love?” Gah, I dread the thought of it. Let’s hope that writer/director Vincenzo Natali has been paying attention to all the interesting horror stuff coming to our shores from overseas. He’s from Detroit, so I’m willing to give the guy a chance.


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