Wednesday, 1 February 2017


Guess who’s back! After what could only be described as the week from a nightmare and a brief soiree in Bankstown Hospital I am back on my feet and ready to review the shit out of this movie. Come at me Shyamalan.

Split follows the stor(ies) of Kevin, a man who has spent his life living with Dissociative Identity Disorder, with 23 different personalities inside his head. His dominant identity, ‘Barry’, has been treated for many years by his therapist, Dr Fletcher, who has a fondness for people who suffer with DID and believe they possess abilities that other humans could never achieve. However, things start to go sour when three of Barry’s ‘banned’ identities, nicknamed ‘The Horde’, start to take control. ‘Dennis’, an obsessive compulsive with a desire to watch girls dance, ‘Patricia’, a mother hen and religious enforcer, and ‘Hedwig’, a nine year old boy with a penchant for Kanye West, all begin to hatch a plot to bring about a possible 24th identity, known only as ‘The Beast’. This plot involves kidnapping three young teenage girls and holding them prisoner until ‘the Beast’ arrives, as well as silencing Kevin’s other identities so they cannot find help. Can the girls gain an identity’s trust long enough for them to escape?

The positives: This movie is genuinely a really interesting and engaging film that really explores its subject matter in the sense that they don’t try to rush anything. The moments of suspense really keep you on edge and you become invested in these characters. James McAvoy does a great job convincing us that he is multiple people and this film is a testament to his acting ability. The 3 girls Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), Marcia (Jessica Sula) and Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) are also great at showing what typical people would do when faced with this situation, with a shoutout to Anja who’s role as Casey is both haunting and intriguing (and definitely one of the best characters in the film). As well as this, Dr Fletcher (Betty Buckley) is also a surprisingly interesting character, as a person who does not try to ‘fix’ Kevin but rather tries to understand him. Thinking back, I’m not sure there was bad acting from anyone, so props to the casting director.

The negatives: They really push the idea of ’23 personalities’ but only about 8 are fully explored: I don’t quite understand what the drive behind the number 23 is (aside from that shitty Jim Carrey horror movie, sorry Jim). They really shove it on the movie posters and in the trailers but it never really impacts the film: there are about 4 personalities that ‘take the light’ and another 4 that are discussed/viewed briefly, but why the need for another 15? There were also a few issues with the plot here and there: things that you only notice afterwards when you’re finally able to process the film as a whole. As well as this, although I doubt most people will feel this way but it bears mentioning: this movie is in no way a reflection of people who actually live with DID. Seriously, this films portrayal of the actual disorder is very much a Hollywood-ified version, and I know it sounds stupid to bring it up, but considering that a talking orange is currently running the US forgive me if my faith in humanity is a little lax.

In the end, the movie is an entertaining thriller that Shyamalan fans or thriller movie fans are going to enjoy. Although its not his best work, its certainly a step in the right direction for him. He seems to be getting his groove back and that’s good news for the film industry, I look forward to seeing what he brings to the table next.

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