Splinter (2008 film)

Splinter is a 2008 American horror film directed by Toby Wilkins and starring Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo, and Jill Wagner. It was filmed near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It had a limited theatrical release on October 31, 2008. HDNet Movies aired the film two days prior to its theatrical release.[2]

Film poster
Directed byToby Wilkins
Produced byTed Kroeber
Kai Barry
Written byKai Barry
Ian Shorr
Toby Wilkins
StarringShea Whigham
Paulo Costanzo
Jill Wagner
Rachel Kerbs
Music byElia Cmiral
CinematographyNelson Cragg
Edited byDavid Michael Maurer
Distributed byMagnolia Pictures
Release date
  • October 31, 2008 (2008-10-31)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$478,931[1]


The film opens on a sleepy gas station, where the pump attendant is attacked by a rabid animal. The attendant's body begins to contort. A young couple, Seth Belzer (Paulo Costanzo) and Polly Watt (Jill Wagner), drive for a romantic camping trip in the forests of Oklahoma, but their plans are shattered when they are car-jacked by an escaped convict, Dennis Farell (Shea Whigham), and his drug-addict girlfriend, Lacey Belisle. The group gets a flat tire when they run over a splinter-infected animal on the road. They find shelter at the now-abandoned gas station.

Lacey discovers the horribly-infected pump attendant, writhing in the bathroom. She is attacked and dies, but her corpse slowly reanimates and becomes a new creature, which attacks the remaining survivors. While fighting her, Seth, Polly and Dennis discover that severed pieces of the infected victims are capable of attacking on their own. Sheriff Terry Frankel arrives and attempts to arrest Dennis, but is ripped in half by Lacey's corpse. The creature takes the top half of the officer's body and bonds with it, becoming a larger creature. The trio hides in the walk-in refrigerator when a piece of the creature's arm attacks them. It is discovered that Dennis has been infected, as his left arm violently twists on its own. Seth and Polly amputate his arm to prevent the infection from spreading. Dennis explains that he had been pricked by a splinter from the dead creature they encountered on the road. Seth discovers that the creatures are actually a fungus taking control of the corpses they infect and consuming the blood, and they hunt based on temperature, attacking the warmest thing they can find.

By lowering his body temperature with bags of ice, Seth is able to sneak past the creature to the police car, while Polly and Farell distract it with fireworks. Seth discovers that, without the keys, the car and the police radio inside, are useless. His body temperature rises again, forcing Dennis to leave the gas station to lure the creature away from him. As a result, the creature manages to enter the gas station and Dennis and Polly hide in the freezer. The discarded fireworks ignite the trail of flammable liquid and the gas station catches on fire. Seth is able to retrieve a shotgun from the police car and helps Polly and Dennis escape. Dennis offers to keep the creature at bay while Seth and Polly escape, and is infected in the process. He shoots one of the gas pumps with the shotgun and the creature is engulfed in flames. The creature dies but Dennis is still infected. He gives Seth and Polly a key to a bank account, telling them to give it to the wife of a man he shot, who later died. Dennis shoots into propane tanks, incinerating himself, the station, and any remaining infected corpses.

Seth and Polly leave, but the final scene reveals that there are other infected creature corpses lying dormant in the woods.



Critical receptionEdit

On Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Splinter received an approval rating of 74% rating based on 35 reviews with an average rating of 6.3/10. Its consensus reads, "Never taking itself too seriously, Splinter scores as a fast-paced, fun thriller with more than enough scares."[3] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[4]

Claudia Puig from USA Today gave the film 2.5 out of 4 stars, writing, "This is classic Halloween fun, with plenty of thrills and chills, surprisingly believable performances, and healthy doses of humor."[5] Chuck Wilson from The Village Voice wrote, "Buoyed by solid ensemble work, some yuckily effective special effects, and a script that subverts genre convention by having its characters do smart things instead of stupid ones (mostly), Splinter earns our respect while delivering 82 minutes of lean, mean fun."[6]

The film was not without its detractors. Marc Savlov of The Austin Chronicle awarded the film 1.5 out of 5 stars, stating that the film "would have made a far more effective short than the feature-length drag it is."[7]


Splinter won six awards at the Screamfest Horror Film Festival: Best Editing, Best Score, Best Special Effects, Best Make-Up, Best Directing and Best Picture.[8]Splinter was a nominee for Best Horror Film at the 35th Annual Saturn Awards,[9] but it lost to Hellboy II: The Golden Army.[10] It was also nominated in Spike TV's 2009 Scream Awards for Most Memorable Mutilation for the arm removal scene, but lost to Saw V's Pendulum Trap.[11]


  1. ^ Splinter (2008) (2008) - Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ HDNet / Splinter
  3. ^ "Splinter (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Flixter. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Splinter Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Metacritic. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  5. ^ Puig, Claudia. "Scary 'Splinter' will get under your skin - USATODAY.com". USA Today.com. Claudia Puig. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  6. ^ Wilson, Chuck. "Splinter Offers Lean, Mean Fun". Village Voice.com. Chuck Wilson. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  7. ^ Savlov, Marc. "Splinter - Film Calendar - The Austin Chronicle". Austin Chronicle.com. Marc Savlov. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Splinter Takes Home Six Awards, New Review!". BD Horror News. Bloody-Disgusting. 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  9. ^ "35th Annal Saturn Award Nominations". 2009-03-10. Archived from the original on 2012-02-29.
  10. ^ "2009 Saturn Awards Winners". SlashFilm. 2009-06-25.
  11. ^ "Spike TV announces the 2009 Scream Awards Nominees – multipleverses.com". Retrieved 2017-01-10.

External linksEdit