Headscratchers / Splice

So Clive and Elsa's bosses wouldn't let them use human DNA in their gene splicing experiment because of potential moral outrage... But apparently patchwork creatures like Fred and Ginger haven't inspired any sort of protests? and we're supposed to buy that a bio-tech company that's gone that far would suddenly balk at throwing human DNA in the mix?

The logic; she is dubious.
  • It seems to be a legal issue; human cloning is illegal, non-human gene splicing is not. We've had sheep-goat chimeras in real life, so it's not entriely far-fetched. Just for the record, sheep are genetically farther from goats than humans are from chimps.
  • Humans Are Special. For a lot of people, anything that even smells like an experiment on humans is an ethical line that they don't want to cross.

How is Dren not freezing to death, most of the time? She has no hair and negligible amounts of body fat, yet she can run barefoot in snow, and dip in a pond with no adverse effects. They have an indoor heater in the barn, but it's hopelessly small for a space as big as that, yet she never shows any discomfort from the cold.
  • If she has a very high metabolism (which is likely given her growth rate) she would produce enough internal heat to offset the heat lost to the environment.
    • For an animal that size to maintain its body temperature in a cold environment like that purely through metabolic action, Dren would need to consume enormous amounts of food- far more than was shown- something close to or exceeding her/his body mass every twenty four hours.

So Elsa wanted a child substitute that she could have total control of, that was loving and obediant. Why didn't Elsa just get a dog?
  • Mad Scientist complex.
  • I think she already had one...named Clive.
  • That would be what we call a rational decision. Do you see Elsa as the rational sort?
  • This is Truth in Television. (Excluding the whole sci-fi angle, of course)

This is more nitpicking than anything else, but in the montage of Dren growing from just after birth to toddler, Elsa says that Dren is evolving. This is by no means the correct word for Dren's body changing as she grew, and a scientist wouldn't make this mistake.
  • Technically, "evolution" simply means "change over time." Stellar evolution is not a process of natural selection or allelic variation over a population, but it's still called "stellar evolution." Now granted, the closer you get to biology, the less likely you are to start throwing "evolution" around when talking about a life-form. But it is a legitimate if... unfortunate word to use.

People keep saying that Elsa cut off Dren's stinger to "dehumanize" her... but a) that would make Dren more human (as most humans don't have tails, stinger or no) and b) she already looks inhuman enough to perch on the near side of the Uncanny Valley. Did the stinger have anything directly to do with it, or was it just the act of strapping her down like a lab specimen for the surgery that was intended to be dehumanizing?
  • Yup, pretty much the latter.
  • not so much that Elsa cut off her stinger, but that before she strips her naked and quite brutally removes the make-up from her face, just to make clear that she's nothing more than a lab rat.

  • Elsa is incredibly chill after walking in on her lover having kinky sex with a genetic experiment. It takes maybe five minutes tops and the two of them are back to discussing pseudoscience like nobody just fucked a terrifying monster. Does she just not care?
    • First, Dren is not a "terrifying monster" to Elsa and Clive, at least not by that point in the movie, as we saw (in at least 2 earlier scenes) that they will stand their ground if Dren tries to get out of control. Second, of course Elsa cares. She simply doesn't let her negative emotions take over her. Keeping her composure is part of her character throughout most of the movie.
    • She did say "Oh my God!" with a horrified expression on her face, run out in disgust, and drive away. When he tried to come up with an excuse, she responded with "I don't know who you are anymore! You've become something sick!" That does not sound "incredibly chill" to me.

  • Why does the DNA splicing program have its own error message for the inability to fuse human DNA?
    • Because that isn't a specific error message for human DNA failure. It's an 'Add-Your-Own-DNA-and-Name-It' message. Basically: the machine tells them whether or not the combination was successful or unsuccessful, they put names to the DNA for logging reasons. In example: Monkey Ginger DNA Hybrid #—— - Unsuccessful. They just plug and play the names to specific DNA sets they've put together, the program doesn't automatically note that the DNA added to this batch is human.

Why did Dren kill the cat? She seemed so enamoured with it and was heartbroken when Elsa took it away, so why'd she suddenly do a 180 and impale it with a Psychotic Smirk on her face?
  • Presumably, it was because she was starting to turn male at that point, so her aggression levels were increasing.
  • Act of rebellion. The cat was her own thing - everything else in her life was dictated or granted by her parents, but acquiring the cat was something Dren did all on her own. Elsa took the cat away for no good reason, except to say "I'm the one in charge; you can't do things without my approval" - and giving it back later basically says "You can have this now, because I have decided to grant you the privilege". Dren's response means: "Yeah? I don't even want it anymore".
  • Listen to the last thing that Elsa said before Dren impaled the cat. "It's nice to have a pet." Dren's not stupid. She realises that Elsa is keeping her as a pet more or less in the same way that she herself wanted to keep the cat. She's directly challenging her own dehumanization at Elsa's hands.