M. Night Shyamalan conjures new mind altering thriller

Courtesy of  https://www.universalpictures.com/movies/split

Courtesy of https://www.universalpictures.com/movies/split

Khara Ekes, Staff Writer/Layout Editor

    Split, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, is a thrilling movie that follows the experience of a teenage girl when she is kidnapped with two other girls by a man with dissociative identity disorder (DID).

    At the beginning of the film, Casey Cooke, Claire Benoit and Marcia, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula respectively, are abducted by a man, played by James McAvoy, while leaving Claire’s birthday party. They later wake up in a locked room with two cots and a connecting bathroom. While trying to find a way out, they hear their captor and a woman arguing outside the door. When the woman enters, the girls realize that it is the same person that kidnapped them, but his voice and mannerisms are completely different.

    As the movie progresses, the girls begin to do everything in their power to get out of their confinement. It soon becomes obvious that Casey is the most equipped for the situation they are in and she quickly takes place as the leader of the group.

    When the film is not focused on the girls that have been kidnapped, it shows McAvoy’s character going to see Dr. Karen Fletcher, played by Betty Buckley, for therapy sessions. In these sessions and during scenes with just Dr. Fletcher, it is revealed that McAvoy’s character has 23 different personalities inside of him including his original, Kevin.

    Throughout the film, the audience only meets many of these known personalities, one being the original person that has always resided in the body. As the movie progresses, it is obvious that there seems to be one unknown personality that is the overall antagonist.

    Dr. Fletcher is a constant voice for people with DID in the film, and she has a special interest in McAvoy’s character. She continually tries to get others to understand the complexity of DID while also getting Kevin and his personalities to open up to her. She seems to understand that each personality is a unique person that has different needs and traits.

    Although this is an invigorating backstory that keeps the audience occupied during the less action packed parts of the movie, the main plot still resides in the kidnapping of the three girls and their fight to make it out alive.

    By alternating between main and sub plots, the movie is able to keep the audience intrigued while not overwhelming them with an idea that is overdone. It also keeps the movie from running flat halfway through it.

    Like any other M. Night Shyamalan film, there is an unexpected twist at the end that leaves the audience with a sense of both wonder and confusion as they leave the theater. However, this film might make a little more sense if an audience member has seen one of his films before. A recommended movie to see before Split is Unbreakable, starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson.

    Overall, this was a captivating movie that kept the audience on the edge of their seats while also pushing their mental capacity to the limit.