The recent PG-13 film Split made a grand entrance to theaters Jan. 20. Split is a psychological horror film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
This two-hour thriller keeps the audience on the edge of their seats as they wait to see how the story will progress.
A quick fun fact is that at the end of the movie, there is a surprise reference to Shyamalan’s 2000 film Unbreakable.
The movie revolves around three teenage girls who are kidnapped by a man who experiences associative identity disorder (D.I.D), which is also known as multiple personality disorder.
Actor James McAvoy’s personalities in the movie are Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig.
As Marcia (Jessica Sula), Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) try to understand what’s happening and plan their escape, they must also figure out how to manipulate each personality that threatens their safety.
The actors selected did a wonderful job portraying their characters.
McAvoy did a spectacular job transitioning between personalities and gave each personality its own essence of reality.
The character design for each personality was so detailed. From the way they dressed, to the manner in which they talked or walked, to the quirks each personality had, everything was specific to that personality.
Each of the girls played their parts really well. The troubled teen and main character Casey Cooke hints at a mysterious past that the audience learns more about throughout the movie.
The dialog between the characters was very well designed. Each line is tailored to a specific personality and is crucial to the plot.
The set design was also well thought out. There were separate spaces where each personality resided while they were conscious.
This movie also has a smaller theme embedded into the story–how powerful someone’s beliefs can be. This belief system is a constant re-occurrence in the movie.
One thing that really made this movie stand out from the rest was that it brought three different social issues into the spotlight. D.I.D. is controversial among mental health professionals, but the movie provided some information about the disorder and the personalities in a way that the audience can understand.
The other two issues that are also brought up are sexual abuse and child abuse.
The issues are seen in the flashbacks of the characters and explain why the characters have turned out to be who they are during the movie.
All-in-all, this movie is a definite must-see for those who enjoy the suspense and are curious about the peculiar situation the characters find themselves in. I would give this film a nine out of ten.
Published in the February 8, 2017 issue of The Bells