An out-of-the-way gas station/convenience store is an unusual place to secure oneself against a mutant parasite. Then again, gas station convenience stores are usually where one picks up a mutant parasite. And yet, that’s where a young couple and a criminal end up, just a plate glass window away from bing absorbed by the spiky organism that skewers you from the inside out, drinks your nutrients, and uses your body as rag puppet host to get more yummy nutrients from those who have plenty of it.
The criminal’s girlfriend was the first to get splintered/splattered, but that didn’t stop her fast rotting body from trying to get at the others. A lady cop shows up (she was on the trail of Mrs. & Mrs. Lawbreaker), but is unaware of the parasite. When she does get to meet it, her body gets pulled in half like warm taffy, with all her nutrients leaking out.
A severed hand, animated by the killer quill, gets into the store and chases everyone around like Thing from The Addams Family (1964). The criminal, though, got a splinter earlier on and now it’s infecting his arm. One way to stop it — cut off the appendage with a box knife. That sorta works, but utility blades weren’t exactly designed to hack through bone. So a cinder block will have to do. (One of four cool flinchy scenes.)
But the pointy creature is still after them, dang it. The only place left to hide? The beer cooler! (That so would’ve been my first choice.) They deduce that body temperature is what’s attracting the porcupine whatchamacallit, so in order to reach the car outside (to presumably go to a different gas station that doesn’t have parasites), the non-criminal guy has to lower his temps by packing bags of ice around himself and lay there until his lips turn blue. In theory, it will make him invisible to the beastie. This maneuver has not been proven in a lab of science.
While the ending of Splinter (2008) could’ve been sharper (heh), this indie movie keeps up a nice tense pace and has a rewarding amount of goreiffic (my new word, combining gore with ’rrific) moments. Don’t feel bad for the criminal’s arm — the parasites are already using it to feel up his dead girlfriend.