This Cronenbergian exploration of the perils of inter-species gene-splicing wrestles with some topical and disturbing ideas, but never quite pins them down. When brilliant young scientists Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) secretly create Dren (Delphine Chaneac) – a wide-eyed and strangely beautiful hybrid of animal and human DNA – they quickly realise that their scientific hubris far outstrips their parenting skills. Due to her accelerated development, Dren soon develops from an innocent, dependent infant into a rebellious adolescent. Influenced by her own troubled childhood, Elsa becomes a cruelly controlling mother; father figure Clive, on the other hand, is seduced by the perverse attraction that the now sexually aware Dren feels for him. Having spent more than a decade in utero, the dense script by director/co-writer Vincenzo Natali (‘Cube’, ‘Cypher’) is, like the fussy creature design, over-elaborated. That said, it is fascinating to see the arrogant human scientists revealed as monsters, even as the ‘monstrous’ Dren reveals her complex, vulnerable humanity. Sadly, the intellectual sparks that do fly burn brightly but only briefly.