Alex Taylor, Staff Writer
M. Night Shyamalan delivers a commercially successful film through his psychological horror film Split. Split details the 23 distinct personalities of the kidnapper, Kevin Wendell Crumb, who traps three teenage girls in an underground lair. The film revolves around the idea that Kevin’s mental stasis, body chemistry, and physiology are adjustable through giving different personalities the “spotlight” in his brain.
While in the lair, the three girls are tormented or tasked with peculiar demands from each of his personality. James McAvoy does an excellent job while playing the role of Kevin. As the film progresses, you fully understand how Kevin bends between the personalities.
The 23 “known” personalities of Kevin are collectively known as “The Horde”, but the spotlight is mainly given to Barry, Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig. Scenes of Barry are seen while he has sessions with his longtime therapist named Dr. Fletcher. She (Dr. Fletcher) fully understands the complexities within Kevin’s brain and has been seeing “Barry” for emergency sessions because she knows something is troubling The Horde.
Dennis is a somewhat violent personality that holds an obsession with cleanliness and young women. As seen in the trailer, he is the personality that decides to kidnap the girls to serve some unnamed purpose.
Patricia is revealed when Kevin is overheard talking to himself with a female’s voice. Kevin presents Patricia to the girls while wearing a dress and ensures they will not be harmed because they serve a greater purpose for a superior personality.
Hedwig is a 9-year-old personality and attempts to befriend the captives and play games. He tells stories to the girls about a superior personality called “The Beast” that can do awful things, and has grotesque features and eats people.
Shyamalan envelops the film with stark eerie shots and a plotline that has very little shocker” moments that are rampant among modern horror films. The soundtrack, much like the unnerving film, switches tones and styles like how Kevin switches between his personalities.
Playing on the idea that one can change their physiology based on personality allows the film to reach into more abstract areas when developing the plot. As always, Shyamalan delivers a shocking twist at the end that will leave many viewers wondering what is next. Overall, I feel Shyamalan has presented a solid thriller feature that will appease many of his critics.
Edited by: Brea Childs