It's as if Cabin Fever and Goosebumps' Stay Out of the Basement had a wonderful Mandrake child that is as vicious as it was cute. A loving couple of awkward clichés get taken on a hostage trip when their original plan of camping gets trampled on. From this point on, they will stop at a gas station to give witness to a new genetic strain of parasite - one leaving its mark on horror society by sprouting vicious quivering spikes and practicing the art of symbiosis with victims in order to create a vicious spiny creature.
The infection is spread through contact with blood stream. Typical horror rules apply. Sever the limb and avoid contact. Survive as long as you can until help arrives. While Splinter is your average horror film in most ways, this still makes it better than 83% of horror films nowadays. Statistically speaking, horror sucks now. The oasis of fruitful ideas to bring terror on screen is in a drought thanks to modern directors. That passion of film is barren and dry. Brainstorming only generates dust. There are still many great untapped ideas that haven't been completed successfully and this was one of them.
Splinter falls prey to it's own appetite for destruction but ends on a relatively disappointing explosion. The final product is a vibrating mess that found itself victim to the "shaky-cam" syndrome. Due to this small flaw, we are denied any substance known as tension or suspense when we see a thorny and bloody monster rampaging after us. This could have be almost nerve-shattering but the full transcending never took place. Can you imagine having roots and splinters invading your mortal flesh? Stuff made of nightmares, folks.
When the light dims, Splinter is a competent creature feature film featuring a pretty decent cast. For being a list of unknowns, the convict resembles Henry Rollins in fierceness and masculinity while the savvy lead seems more like an innocent Daniel Stern in the Little Monsters era. If you're looking for a monster movie or an infection film, look no further. For being hatched in the dull year of 2008, it's nice to have something to smile back on.