GoMovieReviews Rating:


Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Writer: M. Night Shyamalan

Producer: M. Night Shyamalan, Jason Blum, Marc Bienstock

Executive Producer: Steven Schneider, Ashwin Rajan, Kevin Frakes

Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula

Director and writer M. Night Shyamalan (Sixth Sense (1999), Unbreakable (2000), The Visit (2015)) is back with his unique, sometimes tongue-in-cheek style of horror thriller, this time featuring Kevin (James McAvoy): a man suffering (or is he suffering?) from DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder).

After the kidnapping of three young girls, the audience is given a taste of the 23 different personalities inhabiting Kevin’s body.

Shyamalan together with clever camera angles (from cinematographer Mike Gioulakis) use the change in personality to amp up the horror the kidnapped girls experience when they realise their captor is using completely different voices to have a conversation, with himself.

It’s Kevin’s psychiatrist, Dr. Karen Feltcher (Betty Buckley) who speculates whether DID caused through trauma is a weakness or a strength.  And whether the Split is a way of tapping into the plasticity of the brain, creating pathways into parts unknown.

An interesting premise and the main thrust of the film.


Shyamalan really takes the idea of tapping into the power of the mind as far as he can. The result being a thought-provoking horror with a bit of dark humour thrown in the mix.

Thankfully, the few snorts of laughter I had were meant to be provoked, but jeez, there’s a real push of that suspension of belief, the suspension achieved through the believable and truly phenomenal performance of James McAvoy as all those differing personalities.

McAvoy’s great at those parts that require equal measures of
nice guy versus evil.  I kept thinking back to the character from the film: Trance (2013), another thriller that delves into the mind.

And Anya Taylor-Joy was well-cast as the, well, out-cast, Casey Cook.  Anya looks different here, compared to her unforgettable performance in, The Witch (2015), but you can’t miss those sanpaku eyes…

I think people will either swallow the story and enjoy the film, or they won’t.  There’s certainly a unique flavour here.

I liked the exploration into the realm of neuroscience, the idea that thought and belief can change the organic.  To make imagination into reality.  And I enjoyed the interaction between the personalities of Kevin and Dr. Karen Feltcher, the sessions giving much needed authenticity through the grounding dialogue.

However, I found myself wanting to get sucked in then jolted out of the film with that weird sense of humour that’s all Shyamalan.

SPLIT is something different to watch, that reaches for those edges. And if you don’t mind a bit of weird you’ll be rewarded with a unique story well executed.

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The Witch: A New-England Folktale

GoMovieReviews Rating:

Director and Writer: Robert EggersThe Witch: A New-England Folktale

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson; Bathsheba Garrett.

A serious film that picks at the heart of our psyche – being part of the social group versus apart and left in isolation, waiting for the devil in the woods.

In the 17th century, being cast out meant the threat of starvation, lack of others outside the family for partners and left at the mercy of the elements.  A time for belief in God.  But not in the winter time.  The creaking of the pine trees speak of winter.  The witches are the only ones who can survive in the forest.

The Witch is an authentic film pulling the audience back to times where evil is present because life is just as cruel.

I can understand the worship of nature where the power is unknown.  God is the only amulet against the power of the forest.  But when God was most exalted and prayed upon, He was most absent.

To control the nature of man equals control of the elements.  It’s a cruel concept.  And depicted so well in this film.

A failed crop would equate the man failing to provide through lack of work or lack of faith.  The enslavement of women to the care of children, to clean and cook.  If the woman rebelled it was because she was faithless.  And you can imagine the temptation to run off naked into the forest to become a witch.  But this film depicted the true horror of witchcraft.  The taking and killing of babies to make lotions, to make them young; to be able to fly.

It was subtle, how Director and Writer Robert Eggers showed the disintegration of this family.  The Sanpaku eyes, where the white part of the eye is visible under the iris representing approaching danger; the attraction of accidents and violence – The ignorance of the skill of dogs sensing danger.  And the soundtrack was used well to keep the film moving forward.

However, I admit, I was bored at times.

I can understand why Robert Eggers won the Sundance directing award for this movie.  And I want to give full credit, but I can’t because it was just such a dry film.  Deep but dry.

Worth a watch with the concept handled well until the frightening conclusion.

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