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- M. Night Shyamalan
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- 10 wins & 26 nominations
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- Trivia Inspiration for the film, real-life multiple-personality Billy Milligan (13 February 1955 - 12 December 2014), charged with three rapes, was the first person diagnosed with multiple personality disorder to use an insanity defense by reason of that disorder, and also first to be acquitted thus. Milligan had 24 personalities, consisting of 10 Desirables: Billy Milligan, Arthur, Ragen Vadascovinich, Allen, Tommy, Danny, David, Christene, Christopher, and Adalana; and 13 Undesirables: Phil, Kevin, Walter, April, Samuel, Mark, Steve, Lee, Jason, Bobby, Shawn, Martin, and Timothy; and The Teacher, a fusion of all of the other personalities.
- Goofs In the close-up shot of Dr. Fletcher's degree scroll from Tulane University, the school of political sciences is misspelled as "political scineces". In addition, her degree of Master of Psychology would not be awarded by a school of political sciences.
The Beast : You are different from the rest. Your heart is pure! Rejoice! The broken are the more evolved. Rejoice.
- Crazy credits The end credits are shown in 24 frames in the background of the scrolling credits to simulate the 24 different personalities that Kevin has in the movie.
- Connections Featured in The Graham Norton Show: New Year's Eve Show: Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard/James McAvoy/Frank Skinner/Gary O'Donovan/Paul O'Donovan/Pete Tong with the Heritage Orchestra (2016)
- Soundtracks In September Written by Slam Allen (as Harrison Allen Jr.) Performed by Slam Allen Courtesy of LoveCat Music
User reviews 1.1K
- Oct 22, 2017
21st Century Scream Queens
- January 20, 2017 (United States)
- United States
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- $9,000,000 (estimated)
- Jan 22, 2017
- Runtime 1 hour 57 minutes
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Common Sense says
Teen girls in danger in smart, satisfying, scary thriller.
Based on 39 reviews
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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Split is a smart, satisfying horror thriller from Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan . It's about a man ( James McAvoy ) with multiple personalities (aka dissociative identity disorder). Violence and scariness are the big issues here. Characters die, women are kidnapped and hurt, and a young girl is abused by her uncle (though there's not a lot of gore or horror, and much takes place off screen). Characters fight; one is hit with a chair, and others are threatened with baseball bats and knives. A body is briefly shown with its stomach ripped open. Rifles and shotguns are seen and sometimes fired; characters hunt deer. Teen girls are forced to remove some of their clothes, revealing their bras, panties, and other underthings. There are also spoken sexual references, as well as infrequent swearing (including one "f--k," plus "s--t," "ass," and more) and some social drinking by adults.
- Parents say (39)
- Kids say (67)
An outstanding film with incredible acting but it's very important not to let any kid under 14 watch it.
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What's the story.
In SPLIT, teen birthday girl Claire ( Haley Lu Richardson ) is finishing up a party with her friend Marcia ( Jessica Sula ). But her "mercy invite," troubled Casey ( Anya Taylor-Joy ), can't find a ride home. Claire's dad prepares to drive them, but then a mysterious man ( James McAvoy ) kidnaps all three girls and locks them in a windowless room. They notice that he acts strangely, showing different personalities and holding conversations with himself. Unbeknownst to the girls, the man goes to see his therapist, Dr. Fletcher ( Betty Buckley ), who tries to communicate with his 23 personalities. But he warns her of the coming of "the Beast," an all-powerful monster that could be a twenty-fourth -- and who might just have an appetite for teen girls.
Is It Any Good?
Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan launches a full-fledged comeback with this tense, satisfying horror-thriller. Split is refreshingly infused with thoughtful ideas and sly suggestion, rather than gore or brutality. Shyamalan has had quite an up-and-down career; in 2016 he tested the waters with the small-scale The Visit , and he now makes a bold return to his Sixth Sense and Unbreakable glory days. Split actually resembles the latter film in some ways, rooted in real-world theories about the elastic limits of human possibility.
As ever, the director's camerawork is above reproach; he creates a sinister, windowless, underground lair, smoothly snaking with corridors, dingy doors and pipes, and harsh pools of light. His writing is subtler here than in other films, with a few odd touches but confident overall. Best of all are the two leads: Joy ( The Witch ) has an awesome, ethereal presence, and McAvoy conveys at least a half-dozen of his character's personalities with an uncanny, haunting clarity. Split is a smart movie that will undoubtedly leave viewers thinking -- and discussing.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Split 's violence . How much takes place on screen vs. off? Does that approach soften the impact of the violence ?
Is the movie scary ? Why or why not? What tools and tricks do filmmakers use to scare viewers? Why is it sometimes fun to be scared?
How does Split compare to other movies about dissociative identity disorder (multiple-personality disorder)?
Do you believe the human mind is capable of asserting control over the body, possibly correcting and curing diseases and disorders or gaining strength?
How does Split compare to Shyamalan's other movies? How is it similar? How is it different? What is he known for?
- In theaters : January 20, 2017
- On DVD or streaming : April 18, 2017
- Cast : James McAvoy , Haley Lu Richardson , Anya Taylor-Joy
- Director : M. Night Shyamalan
- Studio : Universal Pictures
- Genre : Horror
- Run time : 116 minutes
- MPAA rating : PG-13
- MPAA explanation : disturbing thematic content and behavior, violence and some language
- Last updated : February 18, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
The Sixth Sense
Great, but sometimes scarier than R-rated horror.
Classic Hitchcock horror masterpiece still thrills.
Lurid, twisted, and violent movie has mature themes.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Split ending & final twist explained.
M. Night Shyamalan's latest film, Split, has his best twist since The Sixth Sense. But what does it really mean? Let's discuss the ending.
MAJOR SPOILERS for Split ahead.
The Shyamalanaissance is real. M. Night Shyamalan famously entered a massive slump in the naughties, following up his success on films like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable with a series of critical duds that include Lady in the Water , The Happening and The Last Airbender . Following the out-right failure of After Earth , however, Shyamalan did some course correction. The director's 2015 film The Visit saw him take a step back, making a low-budget movie high on ideas. Now Shymalan has followed that project up with Split , his most layered movie in well over a decade. It may not quite balance its campy tone – too weird to be fully scary and too intense to be overly funny – but it’s a film full of interesting concepts and set-pieces. And what an ending!
Shyamalan’s movies always have complicated endings that leave you with boundless questions and lots to discuss and Split may be the most overwhelming one yet. There’s a drip-feed of information about the main plot, a frankly haunting background to one of the main characters and, without a hint of hyperbole, arguably the best twist that Shyamalan has executed since The Sixth Sense .
Split ( read our review ) follows three high school girls who are kidnapped after a birthday party and locked up by Kevin, a man (James McAvoy) with 23 distinct personalities hidden within him. Two of the darker personalities have taken over and hope to use the girls as part of a dark evolutionary plan, leading to a film that's one part mystery, one part horror, one part out-there, Shyamalan-style. But what does it all mean?
Split Ending & Final Twist Explained:
What Was Up With Kevin?
McAvoy’s "main" character is Kevin, a regular guy who due to a series of traumatic childhood events (we're told he was left by his father and mistreated by his mother) has created a string of alternative personalities, most of which are mentally stronger than he was initially. In this world, dissociative identity disorder doesn't just lead to a psychological change, but also a physical one; Kevin is able to actually alter his body with each switch, meaning some personalities can have OCD and need glasses, while others need insulin shots. Who Kevin is in any given moment depends on who has stepped into "the light" in his mind, something typically controlled by the personality known as Barry.
In the movie itself, the core personalities we meet are Dennis, Patricia, Hedwig and Barry. The former two - who call themselves the Horde - are the darker sides of Kevin, who have previously been pushed down by Barry and the rest but break out by manipulating the childlike Hedwig, who is able to take control of the light at will. Others try and break through to make a cry for help, but the Horde repeatedly pushes them back. It’s important to note that while this is Kevin’s body, his personality doesn’t seem complicit in either side of this – when he finally does emerge, he begs to be killed, revealing that even though Barry and co are the good guys, they’re still going against the original personality’s will.
The Horde’s plan is to “unleash the Beast”, a mythical (at least in Kevin’s psyche) 24th personality. It’s only alluded to in the film, but it appears to be based on the animals in the zoo above where Kevin lives. In the third act, the Beast breaks out thanks to Dennis and kills two of the kidnapped girls, but allows protagonist Casey to live due to her own troubled past (which we’ll get to in a minute). After this murder spree, Kevin appears to have reached a point where the Horde is in full control and are able to bring the indestructible Beast out at will, making it him an almost Jekyll and Hyde superhero. And, yes, superhero really is the word.
While the film is ostensibly concerned with Kevin’s past, the person whose backstory we see elaborated on most explicitly is Casey's. She’s introduced as the weird kid who's always on her own and constantly getting into trouble, only invited to the birthday party from which the girls were kidnapped out of pity. Despite these social defects, over the course of the film, she shows a proactiveness and understanding of the dire situation that allows her to succeed where the others fail.
The truth behind this, however, is rather haunting. In a series of flashbacks we see her being taught to hunt by her father, at first assumed to be the cause of her skewed view on the world, but later revealed as context for the horrific abuse at the hands of her uncle. The film provides a chilling representation of pedophilia - the grooming scene, with the adult wanting to “play animals” is terrifying, as is the power the uncle wields even when held at gunpoint - and goes to great efforts to show how it affected Casey's life growing up.
The story resolves itself with Casey finally finding the power to talk about her experiences, a decision in stark contrast to Kevin; rather than letting a troubled past manifest, she chooses to deal with the problem, which ties directly into the film’s core theme.
The Scars of Abuse
On a thematic level, Split is predominantly about how people deal with abuse. Both the protagonist and antagonist are the product of turbulent childhoods that have led to them becoming outsiders. For Casey this manifests in her desire to be alone, with silence essentially her coping mechanism - she causes trouble so she can be sent to detention and get away from everyone. Kevin's is a more extreme case, hinted to come from a darker past, where he's completely repressed the pain and in doing so birthed new personalities to cope with the trauma.
There's an interesting connection between those "damaged" people. Casey is able to use a vague grasp of Kevin's mental fracturing to try and help herself escape while the other hostages can't concentrate, while the Beast doesn't kill Casey because he sees from her self-harm scars that she's similar to him. What Shyamalan seems to be saying is that people suffering from mental health issues can view themselves as alone, not seeing their connection to the wider world. This ties into the bigger solution to this insular thinking that the director presents; finding and accepting the compassion and understanding of others.
Throughout the movie, Kevin is offered empathy from Dr. Fletcher in spite of the mocking from her neighbors and peers, but the Dennis personality keeps ignoring it, willingly leading him down the dark Beast path - literally finding comfort in only himself. In contrast, Casey learns to address her past, making an active move against it and starting herself on a better trajectory. It's a rather simple notion, but a well-meaning one all the same. The film preaches acceptance and openness, both to yourself and others.
It’s Actually Unbreakable 2
Of course, all of that is nothing on the biggie. For the past few years, Shyamalan has been teasing a sequel to 2000’s Unbreakable , his dark superhero drama; he’s cited Bruce Willis is interested and stated that if it ever did happen it would be a totally different type of movie. It turns out he wasn’t lying – in a jaw-dropping rug pull, it’s revealed in Split 's final scene the film is actually Unbreakable 2 .
The coda - it plays immediately after the end credits title card - shows a diner where a TV report on Kevin is playing and customers comment on its similarity to an event from fifteen years ago involving a guy in a wheelchair. The camera then tracks over to reveal Bruce Willis, reprising his role of David Dunn (evidenced by his nametag), who dryly confirms the old villain’s identity as Mr. Glass and walks out. They've been in the same world all along!
No matter your thoughts on Split 's effectiveness as a thriller, this is an astounding twist. It’s completely unexpected and more audacious than any other movie before; Split a surprise sequel and nobody had a clue (the closest pre-release chatter comes from ScreenCrush calling it a "thematic sequel"). It’s almost like 10 Cloverfield Lane , except instead of the connection being revealed at the end of the trailer, it’s after the film itself. Building to this shocker is likely why some parts of the film feels a bit scattered or off base – it’s fair to assume this scene was one of the first conceived – but it does retroactively make the whole thing a lot more intriguing.
In fact, it pretty much reshapes the entire purpose of the film; Split isn't a hostage thriller, but a supervillain origin story. By the time he's able to control the Beast, Kevin has essentially become the sort of monster that a traditional comic book hero would take on, and that seems to be Shyamalan's real goal; as with Unbreakable (which had the twist that Samuel L. Jackson was the bad guy), he's exploring the psychology of what would make someone become a maniacal villain.
What it means for the future of Unbreakable is unclear – the twist has been tight under wraps, so there’s no official word from Shyamalan or Willis. It’s very open-ended and seems to be setting up a third film in the world that would either see Dunn take on the Beast or Kevin team up with Mr Glass. This is something that Blumhouse, the studio currently revolutionizing low budget horror and who distributed Split , would be interested in. Most of their big hits have become franchises (and in the case of The Conjuring , spun-off into other franchises). Shyamalan has definitely put his big-budget days behind him, enjoying the freedom that a small pot of cash and a hot idea can allow,so there’s a lot of scope for intense, low-budget superhero riff here.
Whatever he's cooking up next, he's going to need one heck of a twist to top this one.
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Film Review: ‘Split’
A welcome return to form from 'The Sixth Sense' director M. Night Shyamalan, whose unhinged new mind-bender is a worthy extension of his early work.
By Peter Debruge
Chief Film Critic
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Multiple personality disorder, like amnesia, is one of those aberrant mental states that has been a curse to those who suffer, but a gift to screenwriters over the years. From Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” to Brian De Palma’s “Dressed to Kill,” filmmakers have long exploited how little we truly understand about the condition — though none has pushed it quite as far as M. Night Shyamalan does in “ Split ,” treating dissociative identity disorder not as the twist, but as the premise on which this wickedly compelling abduction thriller is founded: James McAvoy plays a lunatic kidnapper with at least 23 personalities to his name.
Rest assured, there are plenty of proper twists to follow, none more unexpected than the fact that Shyamalan himself has managed to get his groove back after a slew of increasingly atrocious misfires. To be fair, it’s hard to imagine any writer/director sustaining a career based almost entirely on surprising audiences. And though he lost us for a while there — water-intolerant aliens, anyone? — by trading on ingenuity rather than big-budget special effects, Shyamalan has created a tense, frequently outrageous companion piece to one of his earliest and best movies.
But Shyamalan isn’t the only one getting a makeover here. Presumably tired of playing handsome, uncomplicated leading men, McAvoy — a talented Scottish actor best known as the young Professor X in the “X-Men” prequels — has recently expanded his repertoire to include unsavory creeps in films such as “Trance” and “Filth.” Those roles may as well have been practice laps for the Olympic main event that is “Split,” in which his performance is splintered between a gay fashion designer, a renegade nine-year-old, an obsessive-compulsive control freak, and a crazy church lady, among others.
Shyamalan introduces these wildly different personae one at a time, revealing them through the eyes of the movie’s three main characters, a trio of teenage girls taken prisoner from a high school birthday party, who wake up — like the victims in a nightmarish new subgenre of sadism that includes films like “Saw” and “10 Cloverfield Lane” — in a bunker-like cell with only the dimmest clue of the fate that awaits them. Popular above ground, Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula) are the first to panic, reacting as most audiences probably would in their shoes, while brooding outsider Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) seems unusually calm … at first, at least.
Trapped underground in an undetermined location (the actual spot is the film’s next-to-last twist), the girls spend several days trying to devise ways to escape. Each attempt will have moviegoers digging their fingernails deeper into their armrests, as McAvoy’s totally unpredictable character manages to gain the upper hand, while the girls try to make sense of the information before them. Meanwhile, to make things a bit easier on the audience, their captor slips out at regular intervals to visit his shrink, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley, the classic “Carrie” actress who also appeared in Shyamalan’s “The Happening”), a sympathetic ear who dispenses exposition by the wheelbarrow.
The more we learn, the scarier McAvoy’s character(s) starts to sound. At the same time, among the would-be victims, only Casey feels fleshed out, as Shyamalan gradually reveals the young lady’s troubled backstory via flashbacks to childhood hunting trips. Taylor-Joy, who recently starred in Robert Eggers’ “The Witch,” has a knack for suggesting dark undercurrents to superficially lovely characters, to the extent that we start to wonder whether McAvoy has meet his match.
Shyamalan’s goal is to keep us guessing, and in that respect, “Split” is a resounding success — even if in others, it could have you rolling your eyes. Still, scaling down to a relatively modest budget and just a handful of locations has forced him to get creative with the script, while a handful of new hires — most notably “It Follows” DP Mike Gioulakis, whose crisp, steady-handed gaze plays against the gritty confusion of the genre — elevate the result in such a way that we’re more inclined to consider the characters’ psychology, even though Shyamalan appears to be making it up to suit his purposes.
Ultimately, “Split” belongs to McAvoy, who has ample scenery to chew, but doesn’t stop there — he practically swallows the camera with his tiger-like teeth. With his head shaved, the actor depends ever so slightly on costume changes (sly contributions from Paco Delgado, who worked on “The Danish Girl”), but otherwise conveys his transformations through body language, facial expression, and accent, as his various selves take “the light” — since, per Fletcher, only one can come out to play at a time. As in “Psycho,” there’s a tendency to over-explain, and while Shyamalan is basically making up rules for dissociative identity disorder as he goes along, the condition has afforded McAvoy the role of his career.
Reviewed at AFI Fest, Nov. 15, 2016. (Also in Fantastic Fest.) MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 117 MIN.
- Production: A Universal Pictures release and presentation of a Blinding Edge Pictures, BlumHouse Prods. production. Producers: M. Night Shyamalan, Jason Blum, Marc Bienstock. Executive producers: Ashwin Rajan, Steven Schneider, Kevin Frakes, Buddy Patrick.
- Crew: Director, writer: M. Night Shyamalan. Camera (color, widescreen): Mike Gioulakis. Editor: Luke Franco Ciarrocchi.
- With: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Jessica Sula, Haley Lu Richardson
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Split Plot Summary
“Split” Movie Synopsis and Review
“Split” walks into an alternate world where Kevin, a person with dissociative identity disorder, kidnaps three girls, exposing them to 24 different personalities. Warning: major spoilers ahead.
Haylee Haupt , Columnist February 2, 2017
“Split” came out to theaters on Jan. 20, and there has been a pretty even amount of both positive and negative appraisal. The movie begins with three girls, best friends Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula) accompanied by outsider Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), being drugged and kidnapped by a man. When they wake up, they find themselves in a locked cellar. It is later revealed that the man who is holding them captive is named Kevin (James McAvoy) and has dissociative identity disorder (DID), causing him to have 23 different personalities that he switches between, including a 9-year-old boy named Hedwig who is pushed around by the other identities, a strict but motherly women named Patricia, a man named Dennis who watches adolescent girls dance naked and has violent moments, and a kind fashion designer named Barry. Each personality “sits in chairs” in Kevin’s mind, and takes turns in “the light,” meaning they have control of Kevin’s physical form. They all have different clothes, voices, rooms, and even various health and mental illnesses, such as diabetes and OCD.
The girls manage to talk to some of Kevin’s identities, such as Hedwig (who sees the girls as his friends and babysitters), Patricia (who says that a 24th personality will be revealed and come after the girls), and Dennis (who makes the girls remove an article of clothing every time he visits). Claire and Marcia talk about plans of attacking Kevin to escape, while Casey decides it’d be best to try to manipulate Hedwig. Using flashbacks throughout the movie, we see young Casey hunting with her uncle (who molested Casey throughout her life) and father (who eventually dies, leaving Casey in the care of her uncle).
Kevin’s psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), keeps getting emails from his other personalities asking for her help and for more meetings, but when Kevin arrives, he says he is Barry and that nothing is wrong. Dr. Fletcher knows Kevin’s personalities well and discovers that she is actually meeting with Dennis, who (along with Patricia) had been banned from the light due to being too controlling over Kevin’s other personalities. Dr. Fletcher, being suspicious over the fact Kevin’s other identities keep reaching out for help, decides to meet him at his home. She finds one of the kidnapped girls but gets drugged by Dennis before she was able to help her. The three girls try to escape from their separate quarters while Dr. Fletcher scribbles down Kevin’s full name (which, when said aloud, forces Kevin to the light and creates chaos for other identities).
While this occurs, Kevin is seen entering a train (where he was abandoned as a child) and becomes the alleged 24th identity: the Beast (a superhuman with the characteristics of several wild animals, who plans to kill those who are “untouched,” since Kevin was abused before being abandoned). Casey escapes from her room to find Dr. Fletcher and Marcia dead with their stomachs eaten and sees Claire get dragged away by the Beast. Casey finds Dr. Fletcher’s note containing Kevin’s full name and brings him to the light. He reveals that there are a gun and shells in his locker and instructs Casey to kill him. She runs away and traps herself in a locked cage with the gun and attempts to shoot the Beast, but barely misses his heart. The Beast is moments away from breaking into the cage when he sees Casey’s scars from her abusive uncle, and leaves, saying she is “pure” and deserves to live. Casey is found by one of Kevin’s coworkers, and while being carried out it’s shown that Kevin lived underneath a zoo (which helps explain how the Beast was formed in Kevin’s mind). Casey gets picked up by her uncle after having her wounds treated, and the movie ends with a crowd of people in a café watching the news broadcasting about the Beast, and David Dunn (“Unbreakable” character played by Bruce Willis) is shown, disclosing that “Split” is a thematic sequel to “Unbreakable.”
From an entertainment standpoint, I enjoyed seeing Avoy play multiple characters, and my heart broke for misguided Hedwig. But as I walked away from the theater, my mind wandered out of the illusion of the movie and remembered that the film was about a real life disorder. Up until the Beast was revealed, Kevin was a pretty accurate representation of DID (minus the kidnapping, as well as the active pedophile Dennis). Some can have pedophilic alters, but it’s often because childhood sexual assault (CSA) can lead to hypersexuality and pedophilic tendencies based on how the brain responds to the assault(s). It’s a coping mechanism. When you add in the kidnapping and the 24th personality, it demonizes and criminalizes everything. Dr. Fletcher does talk about cases that mirror to some real life cases, such as a blind person with DID having sight when they are a certain identity or another who is able to bench their own weight. Many have accused those with cases like these of faking it all, but EEG tests have revealed that the brain does indeed show different patterns and results for each identity. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) has written an article about such cases, titled “Four Cases of Supposed Multiple Personality Disorder: Evidence of Unjustified Diagnoses,” and The Washington Post has an article about B.T., the blind DID patient mentioned earlier, titled “The blind woman who switched personalities and could suddenly see.” I’m conflicted about the movie, because I did enjoy watching it, but had some issues with the sci-fi ending. I end up with a question when I try to decide: are movies only a form of entertainment or are they also a way to inform people? When I think about the latter of the two, I lean more towards disliking the movie, for misrepresenting DID during some portions. So what do you think: was “Split” just an entertaining movie or was it a slap in the face to those with the disorder?
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troy nall • May 10, 2017 at 10:33 pm
the girl who played claire(Haley Lu Richardson) at the beginning of the movie was able to see, she is able to momentarily escape BUT later in the movie she is discovered by the DOCTOR.
But claire seemed to be blind. What am i missing ? when did she go blind ?
Haylee.Haupt • May 12, 2017 at 12:52 pm
Thanks for commenting! I don’t think Claire was ever blind or ever went blind in the movie, I think that the scene you’re referencing was just dark and Claire was pretty injured/starving /terrified so she was stumbling around.
Split (2017) : Movie Plot Ending Explained : Unbreakable (2000)
This article aims to explain the Split movie series and help understand what that Bruce Willis ending meant. Spoilers Ahead. Split is a movie by M. Night Shyamalan, the guy who brought us the amazing Sixth Sense and has been struggling since to amaze us with his other films. I’m not a Shyamalan hater or anything, I commend his attempts over the years and I’ve liked a bunch of his films too. Split stars James Mcavoy in a brilliant role. As seen from the posters, it’s about a guy who has 23 different personalities (DID) in him with an emerging 24th. This is a good film with some fantastic acting from James. Good supporting cast, the three girls – Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula. Let’s get down to business. Here is Unbreakable and Split ending explained.
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Where to watch.
To find where to stream any movie or series based on your country, use This Is Barry’s Where To Watch .
Oh, and if this article doesn’t answer all of your questions, drop me a comment or an FB chat message, and I’ll get you the answer . You can find other film explanations using the search option on top of the site.
If you are looking for the explanation of the film Glass, go HERE .
Bruce Willis? Unbreakable Plot Summary
The crucial part is ending of Split. Let me explain why that is crucial. There was a movie by the name Unbreakable, directed by Shyamalan in 2000. In this film, a man named Elijah (Samuel J Jackson) is searching for someone. Elijah is born with a condition because of which his bones are brittle and weak. As a result, Elijah is referred to as Mr. Glass. Elijah runs a comic store and believes that if there is someone as weak as himself, there must be someone who’s compensatingly strong. Someone unbreakable. He goes around triggering several events and kills hundreds of people (we are not told this until the end). In one such incident, where he sabotages a train, David Dunn is riding back on the said train. There is a rail accident and 131 passengers die. David is safe, not even a scar. Elijah has found his Mr. Unbreakable. Elijah approaches him and explains how David’s got superpowers. David slowly tests his strength and also recalls that he has never fallen sick. He does remember that he almost drowned once when he was young. Elijah explains that just like every superhero has a weakness, David’s Achilles’ heel is water. David also gains the ability of extrasensory perception and he starts sensing the criminal acts people have done soon as he touches them. He takes it onto himself to track down a janitor who has killed a family and kidnapped the children. He saves the children. In the process, David is attacked and pushed into a swimming pool, he nearly drowns. The children pull him out of the pool. David kills the janitor. He later meets Elijah and shakes his hand, for the first time. The Shyamalan twist in the movie is when David and the audience are shown that Elijah has been killing people to locate David. Elijah, Mr Glass, the man on the wheelchair, is arrested.
How David Dunn is connected to the ending of Split (ending explained)
Well, simple. The story of Split is happening in the same universe as Unbreakable, 15 years after. In the last scene when people are watching the news about the kidnapping of the girls, it is mentioned that their kidnapper is alive and out on the loose. One of the ladies recollects a psychopath on a wheelchair who was arrested 15 years back. David is in that diner and mentions that name of the guy in the wheelchair was Mr. Glass.
Why is this Split ending scene so important in the film?
Because the movie Split presents some really radical ideas on how the mind can have an effect on the physical body. While these ideas could be considered “going overboard” in a normal world, this movie is set in a universe which already has superheroes in it. That makes it fantasy and a lot of the rules can be broken. Shyamalan has created his mini superhero universe where he’s shown us David (who has extreme strength) and now Kevin (multiple personas with super strength and agility).
This pretty much sets it up for a third part which will feature David and Kevin. This aside, Split (as a standalone film) gives us a lot to take away. Let’s turn to those now.
Split Explained: Split Movie Summary
There are two important people in this story. Kevin (James Mcavoy) and Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy). When Kevin was young, his dad left on a train and never came back. Was this the same train that David Dunn was on in Unbreakable? We don’t know, could be. Kevin was brought up by his abusive mom. His childhood abuse resulted in him developing a multiple personality disorder (MPD, also referred to as Dissociative Identity Disorder – DID). Kevin eventually develops 23 different personalities. Each of these personalities (inside Kevin’s mind) are seated around in chairs and one at a time is allowed to take on the “light”. The light basically means control of Kevin’s body.
Split Movie Personalities Explained:
Kevin : Is the original self/personality
Barry : He is a fashion designer/artist. He decides who takes control of the “light”.
Dennis : He is the protector of Kevin. Dennis also enjoys watching young girls dance naked. He’s obsessive-compulsive because keeping things neat and clean avoided any attention from his abusive mother.
Patricia : She’s a calm British woman. Also one of the leading personalities in Kevin. She’s obsessive-compulsive too.
Hedwig : He is a 9-year-old boy. He’s a representation of the age when Kevin began developing the personalities. When he was abused by his mother.
Jade : Not a leading personality. But is one who is suffering from diabetes and needs insulin shots. This personality is important because the film establishes that Kevin’s body is altered physically based on each personality. When the body takes on other personalities, it is not diabetic. When Kevin’s body takes on Jade, there is a physical alteration that makes it diabetic.
Orwell : Again, is not a leading personality but is one that is focused on history.
The Beast : This is the 24th personality which is yet to arrive. Just like Jade, the arrival of this personality will alter the physical body to become pachydermous, super agile and super strong.
While initially, Barry has been controlling the ownership of the light, Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig have begun controlling the light independent of Barry. The three personalities – Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig are preparing for the arrival of the new personality – The Beast. Kevin’s original personality has not been in the light for many years now.
Split: Dr Fletcher
Kevin has been a patient of Dr. Fletcher for a while now. However, Dr. Fletcher has only been met by Barry’s personality. Barry has told Fletcher about how the mind has chairs and they take turns at the light. Dr. Fletcher has been doing extensive research on DID and believes in the “mind over body” theory. She has noticed how there are instances where one personality can have high cholesterol while the others don’t, even though it’s the same body. The central point of the movie revolves around the fact that the mind can alter the body. Fletcher even gives talks about this too.
Coming back to Kevin, Dr. Fletcher hasn’t really met any of the other personalities but Barry in the past. Recently, Barry understands that the other personalities have been taking the light behind his back. Barry emails Fletcher about it. But Dennis has been going to meet Fletcher in the guise of Barry. Dennis doesn’t want the other personalities to tell Fletcher what he has been up to.
Kevin works at the zoo. This is disclosed at the end of the film. One day at work, two girls (close to the age of 17 years) come up to Barry. One of them takes his hand and puts it under her shirt, on her breast. The second one does the same. Then they just run off laughing to their friends. While most personalities stated that this was fine and it was just a teenage prank, this brings up issues from Kevin’s young age when he was abused by his mother. This incident causes the suppressed personality, Dennis, to take the light. Dennis is the strong personality who deems himself to be the protector. Ever since this incident, Barry is no longer in control of the light. Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig take over.
A few weeks after this incident, Dennis follows and plans to kidnap two girls – Claire and Marcia. Now, this is my speculation but these are the same two girls who played the prank. They are not a random pick. Casey is being dropped by Claire’s dad and was never originally planning to be in the car. She just happened to be there. Dennis enters the car, masks himself and sprays Claire and Marcia. He doesn’t seem to be bothered about Casey. Soon as Casey tries to leave, he sprays her too. The three girls are kidnapped and taken to a basement room. This is the area right under the Zoo where Kevin works.
What’s Casey’s story in Split?
Let’s take a quick step back into Casey’s life. As a young girl, she was abused by her uncle. Casey’s mom seems to have passed away and later, her dad passes away too. Casey then lives with her abusive uncle suffering a lifetime of sexual abuse. She’s a very disconnected person and doesn’t like to be around people.
Casey just happens to be forced into coming to the birthday party. As a result, she gets kidnapped too. The girls have no clue why they have been kidnapped. Dennis drags Marcia away first because he wants her to strip and dance for him. Casey advises her to pee herself. Marcia does. Dennis is angry but decides to let her go and he leaves. Claire feels that they need to fight their captor but Casey explains that they’re no match.
Barry emails Fletcher. Dennis goes as Barry to meet Fletcher. Fletcher begins to have doubts that the personality who’s come to meet her is not Barry.
Split: Hello Patricia
Back in the basement, Patricia is reprimanding Dennis for what he tried to do with Marcia. Dennis says “The food is waiting”. The girls think that it’s a woman outside and cry for help. As the door opens, they see their captor in women’s clothing. They look on in disbelief. Patricia tells the girls that Dennis is not allowed to touch them and leaves. Dennis comes back in and apologizes and mentions “you are sacred food and I promise not to bother you again”. The girls are food for the Beast. That’s what he means. The girls don’t know that yet.
Later, a Hedwig personality meets and talks to the girls. Says that someone is coming for them soon. Casey understands their captor has DID and begins to talk to Hedwig. Casey tells Hedwig that the “someone” is coming for him. Casey lies to Hedwig in the hope that she can get him to let them go. Hedwig says it took too long to make this room safe from outsiders and he leaves. The girls begin to search the room to find a vent on the ceiling that is hidden. Claire removes the false ceiling and opens the vent. Casey and Marcia are holding the door closed as Hedwig tries to enter. Dennis takes over and forces the door open and notices Claire leaving through the vent. Claire crawls through and finds and exit. She runs and hides in a locker. Dennis finds her. He has OCD and can’t bare to look at Claire’s dirty sweater and orders her to take it off. He locks Claire in a separate room.
Dennis impersonates Barry
Barry emails Fletcher again. Dennis goes to meet Fletcher again in the guise of Barry. Fletcher guesses that it is Dennis who she’s talking with. Fletcher mentions that Dennis was banned from the light because of his desire to watch young girls dance naked. She notices Dennis has OCD which Barry doesn’t. She also mentions that Patricia was banned from the light too because of her unstable nature. Dennis maintains that he is Barry and leaves. Fletcher later reviews her camera recordings with Jai (Shyamalan) to confirm that it was not Barry, but Dennis who visited. Fletcher notices that Dennis walks through the trash and not around it. Dennis was over-acting to prove that there is no display of OCD.
In the basement, Patricia visits Marica and Casey. She brings them food. She takes the girls to the kitchen and prepares a sandwich. Patricia gets angry when she cuts the bread crooked – her OCD. Marcia attacks Patricia with a chair and makes a run for it but hits a dead-end. Patricia catches up and explains how Marcia has always been protected. That she has never suffered and that’s the reason she was chosen (along with Claire and Casey). Patricia and Dennis consider Casey and Claire to have been protected all their life too. They don’t know about Casey’s past. Marcia is kept in another room, next to Claire’s.
Hedwig visits Casey. He explains how he can overrule Barry’s power to decide who goes into the light. Hedwig has been assisting Patricia and Dennis to take control of Kevin as and when they like. Hedwig wants to kiss Casey, a child’s kiss. After that, he tells her about his CD player in his room next to his window. Casey convinces him to take her to his room. Hedwig agrees.
Dennis goes to meet Fletcher again. One of the personalities has emailed again. Fletcher explains why she doesn’t think badly about Dennis she pleads to let her know that if it is him that she’s talking to. Dennis admits and talks to Fletcher. He explains how Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig are referred to as “The Horde”, and are preparing for the arrival of the 24th personality – the Beast. Dennis has seen the Beast. But lies to Fletcher saying that he hasn’t. He lies because he prefers that she thinks it’s a fantasy. That way she will not interfere in the arrival of the Beast. Fletcher understands how the Beast is not part of the chair set-up in Kevin’s mind. That the Beast is in a train yard. That the personality Beast is born in that hypothetical train yard because Kevin’s dad left on a train (Kevin’s dad left him defenseless against his abusive mother).
Back in the basement. Hedwig takes Casey to his room. But to Casey’s disappointment, she realizes that the window is just a drawing on the wall. Casey pleads with Hedwig to let her go. Hedwig doesn’t agree. He does show her the walkie-talkie that he’s stolen from Dennis. Casey turns it on and a guard comes on. She tries to explain that she’s been kidnapped and kept in a basement. The guard thinks it’s a practical joke and doesn’t pay heed. Patricia takes control of Kevin and takes back the walkie-talkie from Casey. Casey is taken back to her room but she finds and keeps the key her door on the floor.
Split: The Beast is here
Fletcher gets another email and comes to meet Kevin. Dennis is in control. She asks to come in and talk. Dennis agrees. Dennis mentions about the German woman who was originally blind and developed DID. Her other personalities developed vision. Dennis mentions Fletcher speculated that the optical nerves regenerated because of German girl’s beliefs. Similarly, Dennis tries to explain what the coming of the beast is going to mean. Dennis says he has met the beast. He describes the beast to be much bigger than himself. He describes the beast to be very muscular with a long mane of hair and with fingers that are twice the length of regular ones. This doesn’t mean that Kevin will physically change to look like the Beast but will become physically very strong. The mind is going to make the body as strong as the Beast looks. The Beast is basically an amalgam of various animals in the zoo.
Fletcher asks Dennis about the eating of the impure young. Dennis says he needs to go meet the Beast. Fletcher senses that something might be wrong. She puts a napkin in the door to stop it from shutting itself locked. The point of the napkin is to keep the door open so she can make a run for it if needed. After this, she asks to use the restroom. Dennis shows her the way. She opens the door with Claire in it and realizes that this has gone out of hand. Fletcher tries to reason with Dennis but he sprays her unconscious.
Kevin’s Different Personalities
Dennis leaves. Claire and Marica try to find a way to unlock their rooms. Marcia tries desperately with a hanger to unbolt her door. Meanwhile, Casey uses her key to exit her room. But she’s trapped in the next room. This room has a computer but doesn’t have an active internet. The computer has recordings of the various personalities of Kevin. In Barry’s recording, she sees the location of the keys to the door.
Dennis heads to the station. He buys flowers and leaves them on the platform. Dennis is leaving these for Kevin’s dad who once left on the train never to return. He’s also doing this because he’s going to set the beast free and that would change everything. Dennis heads to the dock and enters one of the trains and begins to change into the Beast. Kevin is shown to have an altered muscular physique and now moves like an animal. He runs back to the basement where Fletcher regains consciousness and makes her way to the table. She writes out Kevin’s full name. Kevin Wendell Crumb.
Split: Kevin Wendell Crumb
This is the name that Kevin’s mom used to use when she beat him up. There is a scene where she’s yelling out his full name just before beating him. Fletcher mentions earlier that using this name will bring Kevin to the light and cause chaos for all the other personalities. She writes his name on a paper hoping maybe one of the girls would read it out and save themselves.
What Fletcher doesn’t realize is that the Beast is behind her. The Beast grabs her and crushes her. Fletcher tries to use a knife to stab the Beast. But the knife simply breaks. This tells us that the mind has made the body strong as a pachydermous animal. The Beast snaps Fletcher’s spine and kills her.
Casey leaves her room looking for the other two girls. Marcia is lying dead with her stomach eaten out. The Beast has fed on her. Casey goes to the next room to find Claire who gets dragged and we see the Beast feeding on her too. Casey runs out to find a dead Fletcher and sees the note. The Beast comes crawling on the walls. Casey reads out Kevin Wendell Crumb. Kevin’s personality takes over. Kevin asks Casey what is going on. She tells him he killed Fletcher. Kevin asks if the date was still September 18, 2014. This shows us that Kevin has been out of the light for years now. He tells Casey about the location of a shotgun and the shells and asks her to kill him. By now the other personalities come and try to explain to Casey why what wouldn’t be necessary. After all, they don’t want to die. Hedwig takes over and allows Patricia the control. Casey tries to call out to Kevin Wendell Crumb. Patricia explains how that will be no use as Kevin is deep in sleep.
Split Ending Explained: The Impure must die
Casey makes a run for it with the shotgun and picks up the shells on the way. The beast follows her, moving like an animal. Casey loads the gun and is unable to fire and hit the moving Beast. The Beast says “Only through pain can you achieve your greatness. The impure are the untouched, the unburned, the unslain. Those who have not been torn have no value in themselves and no place in this world”. This simply means the Beast believes that people who have never been hurt and have always been protected, are worthless as they have learned nothing. He also feels such people must die. The Beast feeds on the impure.
Casey shuts herself inside a cage and from within she fires at the Beast from close range. She shoots him twice. The Beast appears wounded but is able to get back up. He bends the iron bars of the cage with his bare hands. As he’s doing this he sees scars on Casey’s body. He realizes that Casey has been through suffering. He deems her to be pure and leaves. Casey is rescued by a guard and the police are called. One of the cops tells Casey that her uncle is here to pick her up. Casey doesn’t say she’s ready to go. She is shown to be making a decision. The events of the kidnapping have possibly made her strong enough to stand up to her abusive uncle. They don’t show further but it is highly likely that she doesn’t go back with her uncle.
The Beast hasn’t died. The Horde is shown talking to each other in front of a mirror. They mention that the shotgun shells haven’t gone through. That they are what they believe they are. The Beast personality has been capable of physically altering Kevin’s body to resist the shotgun shells. The remaining personalities are not present anymore. The Horde join forces with the Beast.
Split Ending Scene
The film ends with the scene at the diner and David Dunn. What does the ending of split mean? As I said, this is nicely set up for a movie which will have David vs The Beast. We can only hope. Mr. Glass , it is called.
Here’s the plot summary and explanation of the film Glass:
Barry is a technologist who helps start-ups build successful products. His love for movies and production has led him to write his well-received film explanation and analysis articles to help everyone appreciate the films better. He’s regularly available for a chat conversation on his website and consults on storyboarding from time to time. Click to browse all his film articles
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McAvoy's performance is most effective during the subtle changes in his body language as he shifts from one personality to the next...
Full Review | Feb 27, 2023
Shyamalan sticks his ending with an insanely clever twist I never saw coming and that immediately compelled me to see the film again.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Aug 25, 2022
Delivers a tense and entertaining B-movie experience that seems to revel in its performers and the novelty of its plot, albeit in fun and not-so-self-serious ways.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4 | Apr 5, 2022
An absence of the standard Shyamalan twist is notable... showing how much the director has matured over the last decade. In Split, hes created a film that rivals the films that once made him one of Hollywoods hottest young directors.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Feb 21, 2022
McAvoy delivers one of the best performances ever. A psychological thriller that's aided by its score but the acting is the standout.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5 | Jan 25, 2022
I do think the tension really builds in a very horrific way where it feels very conversational and then, yeah, the horror creeps.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10 | Apr 28, 2021
Wild and wooly, uniting, for the first time in a long time, Shyamalan's talent for keeping the audience on the edge of their seats and his ability to change the game in the final act.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Feb 28, 2021
Split departs from anything writer/director M. Night Shyamalan has done before, bringing an honestly thrilling story to life, with one of his best twists since The Sixth Sense.
Full Review | Jan 2, 2021
There's a slowness to the story, coupled with aggravating mistakes by supporting roles, which inspire the opposite of chills: exasperation.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10 | Dec 5, 2020
A B-movie masquerading as a Hollywood production.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.0/4.0 | Sep 24, 2020
McAvoy is deliberately unnerving for such a challenging and difficult role. He sends your emotions into a chaotic disarray...There are no boundaries and that's terrifying to even contemplate.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Jul 17, 2020
It's a slow burn, intelligent thriller that properly amps up its tension in the final act, and contains a standout performance from McAvoy.
Full Review | Jul 14, 2020
This is old-school Shyamalan: great suspense, disturbing plot and fabulous protagonists. [Full review in Spanish]
Full Review | Jul 2, 2020
James McAvoy's phenomenal performance almost saves "Split."
Full Review | Original Score: C+ | Jul 2, 2020
I had mixed feelings about this movie. I actually kind of really liked this movie for the first 80 percent of it and then the ending just really ruined it for me.
Full Review | May 8, 2020
It was like a really cool, interesting study about psychology and then it became a Grimm's fairytale.
Split has a lot of issues, but they are manageable and are easily outweighed by a pair of sublime performances. I have mixed feelings about the work, but I'm leaning toward recommending it.
Full Review | May 1, 2020
While Split isn't exactly a thoughtful look at the struggle of a man plagued by mental illness, it's not really trying to be that. It sets out to be an entertaining genre exercise and a fun time at the movies, and it succeeds.
Full Review | Feb 19, 2020
James McAvoy helps save M. Night Shyamalan from himself in Split...I'm disappointed by some of Shyamalan's choices in this film, but Split is still worth seeing in the theater for McAvoy's brilliance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4 | Jan 24, 2020
Shyamalan's greatest strength has always been building individual scenes; sprung from the puzzle movie trap, he is free to riff away.
Full Review | Jan 15, 2020
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M. Night Shyamalan’s Split Is Exploitative Trash
This review of Split is loaded with spoilers. I wish there were even more. It would be nice to spoil the entire movie.
The huge success of M. Night Shyamalan’s Split is a surprise, but only because of the director’s recent track record. Shyamalan — or, as I like to call him, the Shyamster — is a real showman. He has a gift for making clunkiness look like high seriousness, so that a second-rate shock show like Split is being greeted as a thriller of substance. Many critics have been enthusiastic and audiences seem to like the movie, too. What I can’t figure out is why more people aren’t disgusted by how the Shyamster exploits the trauma of childhood sexual abuse for his own stupid, meretricious ends.
All horror films exploit something , obviously. Shyamalan’s last film, The Visit , was an unusually unpretentious (for him) scare picture about two kids and their freaky grandparents: Shyamalan cunningly played on the idea that your grandparents’ home is where you go for comfort when your real home doesn’t feel like one. (He’s a cultural reactionary — and a prude. The kids end up like Hansel and Gretel because their single mom is on a trip with her latest boyfriend.) The Visit ’s relative modesty was calculated. It followed a line of risible big-budget bombs, among them The Narf in the Bathtub (I forget the actual title), in which a mermaid-goddess materialized on Earth to inspire a messianic writer played by Shyamalan, and The Happening , a psychotic version of The Lorax . (The Truffula trees drive people to suicide.) Now, emboldened by the success of The Visit , Shyamalan has returned to what he loves to do: use cheap horror tropes to create his own harebrained mythos.
The hook of Split is that a man named Kevin (James McAvoy) has 24 separate and distinct personalities and seems to be able to alter his physiology, neurochemistry, and accent with every one. It’s true that the split-personality concept, which is now called dissociative identity disorder, doesn’t work like it does in the movie*, but that’s not worth getting exercised about: This is still an effective horror-movie conceit. The film opens with a scary sequence in which Kevin — or, as we’ll learn, “Dennis,” Kevin’s steeliest alter ego — renders three teenage girls unconscious and whisks them to a decrepit underground lair. In this scene and others, the Shyamster uses POV shots with chilling dexterity: We have no idea until later what happened to the father of one girl. And for once in a modern thriller, the spatial confusion is purposeful.
Where voices are concerned, though, McAvoy is no Peter Sellers. One of those Brits (he’s Scottish) who can’t quite nail American inflections, McAvoy makes most of his characters sound like they’re from Brooklyn. But you certainly see the acting, which is enough to make some people say, “Wow! He’s some actor!” Apart from Dennis, McAvoy’s most striking characterizations are Barry, a likable, presumably gay dress designer, and Hedwig, a nasty, lisping nine-year-old. Maybe Hedwig is the creepiest. In one of the best scenes, he lets himself be tricked by the heroine, Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), into taking her to his room. We watch him vogue to Madonna from Casey’s fixed perspective — in and out of the frame and then suddenly close, too close, to ask what she thought of the grisly spectacle. She is suitably tongue-tied. When he asks if he can kiss her the audience groans, as if he’s really a nine-year-old. You just know he’ll have too much saliva.
Taylor-Joy, best known for The Witch , is a remarkable camera object and perhaps — we’ll see when she’s called on to show more range — an actress of real power. Her eyes are huge and far apart, but what makes them so spooky is the way the pupils merge with the dark irises, so that those eyes look like two big balls of blackness. She’s like an alien-abductee’s sketch made flesh. She looks at Kevin in all his guises as one who has seen the worst of this world and still can’t fathom the depths of this depravity.
But whenever the psychosexual stuff gets intense, Shyamalan loses the pulse. He cuts to wordy, exposition-crammed scenes in which a therapist, Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley), demonstrates that she’s engaged in a battle not just for Kevin’s sanity but also to show to her skeptical colleagues that the human body is more malleable than scientists believe. People like Kevin are proof, she says, that certain kinds of stress can literally transform you. Flashbacks show that the 24 personalities arrived after the young Kevin was hideously abused. Now, each one (they’re all named) sits patiently waiting for his or her turn in the spotlight to protect Kevin from the world’s evils, even if it means crowding him out altogether.
Dr. Fletcher and Kevin are on the same page. Kevin’s most radical iteration, number 24, “the Beast,” is no mere monster. He’s an evangelist for a more evolved kind of human. The Beast eats inferiors — including two of his teenage captives — but realizes in the end that Casey is like him. As a series of flashbacks makes clear, she has also been abused. Her uncle — a burly guy who likes to strip off his clothes — began messing with her even before her dad died and he became her guardian. Now, she shuns her peers and hacks away at her own flesh. The Beast is impressed.
It has been 25 years since Carol Clover in Men, Women, and Chain Saws identified the archetype of the “Final Girl,” the lone woman who survives the monster’s onslaught and is able to vanquish him. (It’s almost always a “him.”) In many cases, the Final Girl is so strong because she’s sexually pure, although such films as I Spit On Your Grave and Ms. 45 suggest that sexual violation will turn her into a predator more powerful than her violators. The Shyamster is not the first to suggest that what doesn’t kill a victim makes him or her stronger. That would be Nietzsche. It would also be the David Cronenberg of such ‘80s horror films as The Brood , in which a doctor believes that by acting out a repressed trauma you can make it flesh (and be unable to control it). There’s a link between extreme torture and spiritual transcendence in the seminal French film Martyrs (which I strongly warn you off seeing if you haven’t — not because it’s bad but because it can’t be unseen). And then, of course, there are the X-Men and their ilk, whose superpowers are extensions of adolescent woes. We know that Shyamalan takes comic-book powers seriously. He created his own pretentious superhero/supervillain movie, Unbreakable , which he actually invokes in Split ’s unbelievably stilted coda . From that perspective, the Beast is his dark take on Wolverine and Casey his Rogue.
My loathing of Split goes beyond its derivative ideas and second-hand parts. Though Shyamalan doesn’t use a lot of blood in Split — there’s barely any — his framing sexualizes the torture of the other two teenage girls in a way I found reprehensible. And his depictions of childhood sexual abuse are clinically accurate enough to make anyone with experience of such things feel sick. All this is used in the most opportunistic way imaginable, to prop up astonishingly dumb ideas about the human psyche. Those superhero comic books deal in metaphor. Only someone as grandiose and insular as Shyamalan would use the most cheapjack psycho-on-the-loose formula to make the case that the victims of childhood sexual trauma are actually more, not less, powerful than other people.
A reasonable objection to what I’ve written is that this notion is the Beast’s and not Shyamalan’s and therefore no more objective than any other monster’s. But the Beast isn’t imagining his superhuman powers. He is superhuman. And his abuse of Casey inspires her — presumably — to tell the kindly policewoman that she doesn’t want to go back to her pederast uncle. The Shyamster obviously thinks he’s onto something, that he can once more raise the existential and/or religious stakes of trashy genre movies. The voice I hear in my head is not Casey’s but Little Carol Anne from Poltergeist . “He’s baaaaaaaack.”
* This article had been updated to reflect that dissociative identity disorder is a recognized illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders .
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Split (2016 American film)
Split is a 2016 American psychological horror film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan . It stars James McAvoy , Anya Taylor-Joy and Betty Buckley . The film premiered at Fantastic Fest on September 26, 2016 and was released on January 20, 2017, by Universal Pictures . It is the second installment in the Eastrail 177 Trilogy .
- 3 Critical Reception
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Though Kevin ( James McAvoy ) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Karen Fletcher ( Betty Buckley ), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all of the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey , Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him as well as everyone around him as the walls between his compartments shatter.
- James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb Kevin Wendell Crumb / The Horde
- Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke
- Betty Buckley as Dr. Karen Fletcher
- Haley Lu Richardson as Claire Benoit
- Jessica Sula as Marcia
- Kim Director as Hannah
- Brad William Henke as Uncle John
- Neal Huff as Mr. Benoit , Claire's father
- Sebastian Arcelus as Mr. Cooke , Casey’s father
- Izzie Coffey as 5-year-old Casey
- Lyne Renée as Academic Moderator
Split received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, The film has a score of 77% based on 297 reviews with an average score of 6.49/10.
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Den of Geek
Split Ending Explained
With tons of spoilers (obviously) we try and explain the Split ending and what M. Night Shyamalan says it means going forward.
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This article contains major Split ending spoilers.
As sure as the sun will rise and America’s new commander-in-chief will tweet, inevitably an M. Night Shyamalan movie will have an ending that twists, bends, and contorts its narrative into unexpected shapes—often while dividing audiences in the process. Shyamalan returned to form with 2015’s The Visit , but in spite of Split being even more straightforward in its narrative than its direct predecessor, its multiple third act developments, complete with one doozy of a ‘post-credit’ scene, is sure to leave plenty of folks scratching their heads.
Luckily, we’re here to put it in perspective and explain just why Bruce Willis is sitting in that diner at the close of Split (and what Shyamalan says it means for the future). But first, let us take a step back and explain how we got to that point by addressing the rhinoceros-skinned beast in the room: how did James McAvoy’s Kevin Wendell start climbing walls?
Despite what some internet confusion and rumors have already suggested, Kevin’s ability to withstand a knife attack to his skin, or later a shotgun blast, is not necessarily supernatural, even if it is obviously impossible. Rather, Shyamalan is extrapolating real research into dissociative identity disorder (DID) for his own pulpy, exploitative pseudoscience, like all the best (and worst) science fiction writers.
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As Dr. Karen Fletcher (wonderfully played by Betty Buckley) repeatedly stresses, there is evidence that individuals with multiple personalities can change their body chemistry. This is based on recent studies in the last 20 years that indicate individuals diagnosed with DID have shown physiologic differences between their ‘alters’ (personalities), including dominant handedness, response to the same medication, and allergic sensitivities. Further, alters have demonstrably shown differences in visual parameters, including corneal curvature and pupil size.
Now, does this mean that an individual who lives with DID could will themselves into having the power set of Spider-Man? No , but hence the aforementioned pseudoscience, which is the refuge of many creators in the genre, going back to its progenitor, Mary Shelley and her obsession with medieval and renaissance alchemy in Frankenstein .
So the alter Dennis is convinced that the elusive 24th personality, the Beast , has skin as hard as a rhino’s and fingers strong enough to dig into stone, allowing it to climb walls. And apparently it did, hence the Beast being able to dismiss the shotgun shells that Casey ( Anya Taylor-Joy ) fires at him in what at first appears to be a traditional thriller showdown between a proverbial monster and his final girl prey.
However, upon Casey’s shirt being ripped off in their final struggle, it is revealed that she has scars on her stomach—scars caused by self-inflicted harm and cutting. As it’s been confirmed earlier in the picture, Casey was abused repeatedly over the years by her uncle. This is first discovered during one of several intensely disturbing flashbacks to Casey’s childhood. After being beckoned to take off her clothes on a hunting trip, the film cuts away from the unimaginable evil to some time later when Casey attempts to shoot and kill her uncle. Tragically, she is unable to pull the trigger and all too realistically says nothing to her father about the abuse… which only continues for the rest of her adolescence after her father dies of a heart attack and she is forced to live with her abuser.
Undoubtedly, Shyamalan broaching such heinous and heartbreaking subjects will be challenged and critiqued for weeks to come. Intentionally, the filmmaker is working from the analytical research that suggests DID is sometimes borne as a form of neurological protection or relief from the neurotoxic effects of traumatic stress. In other words, because Kevin Wendell was abused by his mother, he’d empathize with Casey’s signs of similar abuse.
Still, there is an obvious argument to be made that this is exploiting real-life traumas for genre thrills. And while I believe the film is open to that reading, I would argue that McAvoy and Taylor-Joy are both so good in their roles—with the Scottish actor being exceptionally brilliant in a scenery-chewing tour de force—that they ground the ugliness with some semblance of truth. Also appropriate to the material, there is a steely authenticity to the way Taylor-Joy underplays her often mute heroine.
In context, Casey’s defeated reaction to Dennis breaking into her car, and later her disconnect with the other girls upon waking up inside Kevin’s dungeon, makes more sense. And in the present of the ending, Dennis/the Beast’s thinking is crystallized because they chose the other two girls to be food; they were ‘impure’ due to the fact that they never ‘suffered’ in life. Their untroubled childhoods and happiness were why he stalked and ultimately killed them. Seeing that Casey has her own psychological demons is enough to spare her.
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There is a bit of ambiguity as to what happens to Casey after her horrific ordeal. She is told by a police officer that her uncle has arrived to pick her up, but Casey does not leave the squad car. While this is more open to interpretation, the intent of the scene is clearly that Casey has stopped being passive in her victimization. Whereas earlier she allowed a classmate’s father to gently shepherd her into his driving her—with no more resistance than she had when watching Dennis knock out the two girls in the backseat and then come for her—she is now done with letting herself get wordlessly pushed into one prison after another. She couldn’t pull the trigger on her uncle as a child, but as a young woman she’ll fire the shotgun at the Beast. Likewise, she refuses to be escorted back to hell with her uncle. The authority figure’s attention, like our own, is instantly drawn to the fire in Casey’s eyes.
The implication is that Casey will confirm the already clouding suspicion about something being rotten in the state of her proverbial Denmark, and with an evil, lecherous uncle no less.
Is Split an Unbreakable Sequel?
As for the actual final scene: it is a direct reference to Unbreakable , of course. As Willis’ David Dunn sits at a counter, many remark at the television screen, wherein reporters breathlessly espouse that Kevin Wendell is now to be known as ‘the Horde.’ This is for all intents and purposes a comic book-styled revelation, just like the end of Unbreakable . Someone at the counter even makes the suggestion by saying this is like that crazy guy in a wheelchair who was arrested about 15 years ago.
If you don’t recall or have never seen Unbreakable , that film ends with Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Price , a comic book enthusiast suffering from Type I osteogenesis imperfecta, which renders him painfully fragile, revealing that he caused the train crash that opened the movie (and that same crash seems to have some kind of ties to Kevin’s past, as well, based on the flowers he leaves on an Amtrak platform). In fact, he’s caused three acts of terrorism that killed hundreds of people simply so he could find a man who was the opposite of him, his nemesis who completes him like all the best frenemies of comic books. And right before Willis’ heroic David leads the authorities to arrest Price, he muses that as a child, they called him Mr. Glass. Presumably that will be his supervillain name.
Similarly, Kevin’s alters Dennis and Hedwig reveal in Split that they were made fun of by children, and then other alters within their body, by being nicknamed ‘Horde.’ The phrase has taken off, and as the television says, Horde is the new villain in town that David Dunn will have to stop, just like Mr. Glass all those years ago.
Admittedly, this is an entire riff on the now omnipresent superhero movie craze that Shyamalan’s Unbreakable predated by some years in 2000. In essence, this is his own version of a Marvel Studios stinger. Does that mean we’ll finally get an Unbreakable 2 as a consequence? Well, that remains to be seen. This might just be a nice wink by Shyamalan to his fans who have been clamoring for his long teased sequel for over 15 years now. Or, like Marvel, it might be a promise for stories to come. Time will tell on that one.
“This was originally in the Unbreakable script, this character,” M. Night Shyamalan told Den of Geek . “So most of what you saw was written 15, 16 years ago. I slid it out, always intending to make it another movie. My intention is to make a final movie for these two movies, so their stories finish […] It will be a sequel to Unbreakable , but also a sequel to Split .”
At long last a journey on Eastrail 177 is going to end.
David Crow | @DCrowsNest
David Crow is the movies editor at Den of Geek. He has long been proud of his geek credentials. Raised on cinema classics that ranged from…
Collections, tv/streaming, movie reviews, chaz's journal, contributors, split at the root.
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It’s so difficult when a documentary about a clearly important subject doesn't quite work. It’s even more painful writing its review. Such is the case with “Split at the Root,” director Linda Goldstein Knowlton ’s empathetic yet creaky look at our broken and apathetic immigration system, and the work one group is doing to fix it.
Pinpointing where “Split at the Root” comes up short, initially, is difficult to spot. By pushing our focus to America’s strategy of separating children from their asylum-seeking parents, sending them to different detention centers in different states, The Zero Tolerance Policy strongly promoted by the Trump administration, there is urgency. By telling the story of two women—Yeni Gonzalez and Rosayra "Rosy" Pablo Cruz—deeply affected by this crisis, the emotionality is evident. And with the inclusion of imperative statistics, painting the full systemic failure at play, we aren’t clueless or unable to grasp the magnitude of the still present mess targeting the most vulnerable.
What “Split at the Root” lacks, unfortunately, is the best frame to translate this story. Knowlton employs Julie Schwietert Collazo, a can-do mother from Queens, as the anchor for her film. In 2018, upon hearing about Yeni, a Guatemalan mother separated from her children, a horrified Julie organized a GoFundMe to finance Yeni’s release. The courageous act would only be the beginning for Collazo. Armed with a list given by Yeni of other women to help, Collazo, together with her husband Francisco, founded IFT (Immigrant Families Together). Their goal was to provide a financial pipeline and support system to reunite asylum-seeking mothers with their children and provide them with the necessary tools to remain in the country.
Collazo and Francisco, along with IFT co-founder Meghan Finn, offer viewers a comprehensive view of the legal journey Yeni and Rosy must take to remain in the country and, in Cruz's case, to bring their children to America. We learn about the nefarious ways judges undermine these cases—the audio of one judge in South Carolina is particularly shocking—about the laws so clearly stacked against asylum seekers specifically hailing from Central and Latin America, and how this isn’t symptomatic of one administration, but the decades-long inaction by several (in fact, inaction might be the one partisan tenant of Washington).
But we mostly learn about these psychological and emotional tolls through the eyes of Collazo and Finn—two white women. And while both do acknowledge the optics of them speaking on behalf of women of color, it can’t wholly eliminate the gnawing feeling that this film would be infinitely stronger if told from the perspective of Gonzalez and Cruz.
In fact, the documentary’s most clarifying and aching moments occur when the camera is simply pointed at Gonzalez and Cruz as they offer their anguishing experiences, their nourishing hopes, their broken dreams, and their unbendable will. In these instances, Knowlton’s camera never blinks or cuts to stock newsreel footage. She sticks with these women for as long as it takes for them to share their statements and their convictions.
And so when they have their court dates, or they feel great elation or momentary loss, or they’re merely going through their day-to-day—those events would be all the more impactful if told and followed closely from their perspective. Instead, disappointingly, it’s Collazo and Finn doing much of the talking. Toward the film's end, Collazo explains how Cruz describes this unimaginable process as “being split at the root.” You can’t help but want Cruz to say it in her own words. The same can be said about when Collazo and Yeni tearfully embrace. But it’s not Yeni speaking. It’s Collazo attempting to verbalize the fight Gonzalez has fought on the behalf of her fellow asylum seekers.
This film is another instance of this documentary having well-meaning intentions that do not translate into organic pathos. Those affected by America’s terrible immigration system need a film explaining their difficult plight. Knowton’s “Split at the Root” just isn’t it.
Now playing on Netflix .
Robert Daniels is a freelance film critic based in Chicago with a MA in English. He’s the founder of 812filmreviews, and he’s written for ThePlaylist, Consequence of Sound, and Mediaversity.
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An older man grooms a teenage girl in this disturbing but vital film.
Tom (Jonathan Tucker) cultivates a sense of dependency in 17-year-old Lea (Lily McInerny) in Palm Trees and Power Lines. Momentum Pictures hide caption
Tom (Jonathan Tucker) cultivates a sense of dependency in 17-year-old Lea (Lily McInerny) in Palm Trees and Power Lines.
Palm Trees and Power Lines begins in the middle of a lazy summer for 17-year-old Lea, played by a remarkable newcomer named Lily McInerny. She lives in a dull stretch of Southern California suburbia with a somewhat scattered single mom — a likable Gretchen Mol — whom she treats with indifference at best and contempt at worst.
Lea spends a lot of her time sunbathing, avoiding her summer homework, scrolling on her phone and hanging out with her friends. While she goes along with a lot of their goofball antics — she smokes and drinks with them, and has a rather perfunctory hook-up with one of them in his backseat — she also seems a little smarter, more sensitive and observant than they are.
One night at a diner, her friends decide to skip out on the check, and Lea, the only one with enough of a conscience to protest, is left holding the bag. But then a man named Tom, played by Jonathan Tucker, seems to come to her rescue and offers her a ride home in his truck. Tom is friendly, assertive and good-looking; he's also 34 years old, and it's immediately clear, from his flirtation with her, that he's a creep.
On some level, Lea seems to understand this even as she and Tom start seeing each other. She doesn't tell her mom or her friends about him, and she clearly knows that the relationship is wrong — but that's exactly what makes it so exciting. She's enormously flattered by Tom's attention, and he seems to offer her an escape from her humdrum reality.
Palm Trees and Power Lines marks a confident new filmmaking voice in the director Jamie Dack, who adapted the film from her 2018 short of the same title with her co-screenwriter, Audrey Findlay. They've written a disturbing cautionary tale about grooming and trafficking. That sounds grim, and it is, but the movie is also quietly gripping and faultlessly acted, and scrupulous in its refusal to sensationalize.
The full extent of Tom's agenda becomes clear when he takes Lea back to his place one night, and it turns out to be a rundown motel room. By that point, you'll be screaming at Lea to make a run for it, but she's already in his psychological grip. The movie captures just how swiftly yet methodically Tom creates a sense of dependency — how he lavishes Lea with attention, compliments and gifts, and gradually walls her off from her mom and her friends.
Tucker, who's been acting in movies and TV shows for years, gives a chilling, meticulously calibrated performance; you never fall under Tom's spell, but you can see how an impressionable teenager might. And McInerny, in her feature debut, shows us the depths of Lea's confusion, the way her desperation for Tom's affection and approval overpowers her better judgment.
In scene after scene, Dack ratchets up the queasy intimacy between the two characters, but she also subtly undercuts it, sometimes by shooting the actors side-by-side, giving their conversations a faintly transactional air. Through it all, the director refuses to exploit or objectify her protagonist. Even the movie's most terrifying violation is filmed with great restraint, which ultimately makes it all the harder to watch.
Dack regards Lea with enormous sympathy, but also with a certain case-study detachment; she never offers the character a way out. There were times when I wished the movie were less unsparing and more optimistic about Lea's future, but its pessimism rings awfully true. While Palm Trees and Power Lines is a story of abuse, it also captures a deeper malaise, a sense of aimlessness and loneliness that I imagine a lot of people Lea's age will identify with. It's a despairing movie, and a vital one.
Review: There are ‘65’ million reasons to avoid the new Adam Driver dinosaur space flick
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If you asked the AI program ChatGPT to write a dinosaur/space movie as if Steven Spielberg and James Cameron were trying to make fun of each other, you’d probably still get something more entertaining than the thudding hack job “65,” a movie about as thrilling as watching footage of someone — in this case, Adam Driver and his young co-star, Ariana Greenblatt — on the “Jurassic Park” ride at Universal Studios .
The writers of “A Quiet Place” — Scott Beck and Bryan Woods — are clearly not done with monsters and family and the apocalypse. But this time, as directors too, they’ve decided to take us not forward but back, to when a routine trip went disastrously wrong. Think “Gilligan’s Island.” Not because it’s like “65.” Just because it’s more entertaining than “65.”
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Do you like introductory text that removes that nagging worry that you won’t be expositionally satisfied? Because “65” has that. “BEFORE THE ADVENT OF MANKIND” reads the first. “IN THE INFINITY OF SPACE” reads the next, which is, by the way, set against the backdrop of … space. Just so everything’s clear! And later, after a sentient audience will have guessed from the huge dinosaur footprint that exploratory mission pilot Mills (Driver) has been stranded on a particular planet at a very particular time, here come the words: “A VISITOR CRASH LANDED ON EARTH.” Yes, that “65” refers to the number of millions of years ago. Not, as one might hope, the number of minutes in the film.
Do you like stories about absent dads? Based on the movies, they seem to be an emotional connection between humanity’s meager time on Earth and social systems in long-ago galaxies. (“ChatGPT, add George Lucas in the mix.”) By taking one more gig, Driver’s character not only leaves behind an adoring wife but, more urgently, an adoring and ailing daughter (Chloe Coleman), whose hologram messages of love, longing and increasing sickness are like stabs to his heart as he’s trying to avoid dinosaur teeth stabbing everywhere else on his body. So, if you wanted to give him only one human companion to heighten that guilty-father feeling, out of all the possible cryogenically frozen passengers to survive an inconvenient ship crash, who would you pick? A grandmother? Wrong! “ChatGPT, are you familiar with ‘The Last of Us ’?”
Do you like made-up tongues not translated because it’s cuter when an othered figure learns English? Maybe Beck and Woods just didn’t feel like writing dialogue for the girl, Koa (Greenblatt), that would help establish this child as a person beyond at first seeming like a feral creature and then a surrogate daughter. Dialogue is hard! So instead this poor character gets an untranslated language until she can trigger “aww’s” by learning the words “home” and “family” and, with stick figures, inventing cave art.
Do you think Adam Driver can do anything? He might have thought that too, when signing on for this.
Do you believe that dinosaurs have long since outlived their CGI-rendered ability to instill awe and terror? Because the filmmakers seem pretty convinced 172 “Jurassic Park” movies haven’t already been made. Sometimes that kind of innocence inspires reinvention. Sometimes it just means that once majestic, still mysterious and endlessly fascinating creatures begin to feel like faceless goons in a video game.
Do you occasionally wish that studios would run dank-looking movies that seem stripped of color through a Snapchat-like filter that would add bright, rainbow-hued tails, faces, starbursts, pizzazz-y augmentations and the like? I’m not saying there are quickie backlot black-and-white adventure movies from 90 years ago with more visual breadth, color range and compositional tension than “65,” but, OK, well, yes, I am saying that.
Is “65” a hall-of-fame bad movie? No, and that may be its problem. It’s just pedestrian dumb and dull. It drops humans from eons away and ago into an extinction-level event, and instead of being full-on weird and wondrous about it, prefers to be utterly imitative and complacent. Way to extinguish yourself.
Rated: PG-13, for intense sci-fi action and peril, and brief bloody images Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes Playing: In general release
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‘Scream VI’ Review: Yes, Another Scary Movie
Ghostface and meta commentary are back in this sequel, yet the weight of obligations to the dictates of the franchise ultimately drags it down.
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By Jason Zinoman
It was not surprising when Quentin Tarantino, an auteur unusually willing to criticize the work of his peers in public, told an interviewer that he didn’t like the original “Scream,” calling its director, Wes Craven, “the iron chain attached to its ankle.”
An ungenerous observer might see a connection between this opinion and the fact that Craven hated Tarantino’s first movie, “Reservoir Dogs,” so much that he walked out of a screening, only to be surprised by the director himself, asking what Craven thought. Side note: Never do that to a director or a critic. Timing matters.
While “Scream” has become the most beloved franchise about horror fandom, with scary-movie obsessives as victims or killers or both, there have always been die-hards who felt its self-referential humor came at the expense of the scares; it was fun slasher-lite, spoofing its audience while really pandering to them. These horror snobs, and I count myself among them, know that Wes Craven can go for the throat, but with these movies, he chose not to.
“Scream VI” aims to win us over. (Craven died in 2015 , and was paid homage to in the last “Scream” movie , skillfully directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett.) In one of its gruesome kills, a knife doesn’t just go for the throat, it shoves it down and twists. This is a grimier entry, more likely to break with convention — one where the white mask of its serial killer Ghostface is scuffed up. The character’s physicality is also steadier, more willing to be still, with the occasional Michael Myers head tilt. Moving from the well-appointed and brightly lit homes of small towns and the suburbs to the dark alleys of New York sounded like a desperate move (see “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan” ), but placing stalker sequences in crowds inspired some fresh thinking.
There are a couple of truly frightening, patiently established suspense scenes, including one inside a subway car during Halloween that’s filled with people in costumes of horror villains, including multiple Ghostfaces. It’s a nicely staged vignette that, in keeping with the spirit of “Scream,” operates as a meta commentary on the glut of scary movies. But it’s tricky business balancing disturbing terror and jokey film criticism, and while this sequel occasionally pulls it off, the weight of obligations to the dictates of the franchise ultimately drags it down.
Building off the story line of the previous movie, Tara ( Jenna Ortega ) and her sister, Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), whose last name will have some fans of “Halloween” chuckling insufferably, have left their cursed small town of Woodsboro to attend an N.Y.U.-like school in Manhattan with a new gang of friends/potential killers. Once a masked figure starts stabbing people, everyone looks askance at each other and starts breaking down the rules to surviving a horror movie.
With a richer character to work with than the protagonists in the early films, Barrera does an effectively brooding job playing a tortured possible antihero. As the daughter of Billy Loomis (played by Skeet Ulrich), the killer in the original movie, whose ghostly presence returns here, she adds some new tension to the boilerplate disposable victims.
This is a movie where no less than three characters are brutally stabbed but preposterously don’t die, and yet, it’s also the first “Scream” without Neve Campbell’s Sidney, which goes to show that Hollywood contract negotiations are more horrifyingly fatal than any cinematic maniac.
Courteney Cox does come back as the opportunistic reporter Gale Weathers and, as is tradition, gets punched in the face with panache. There’s also a return of the character Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) from “Scream 4,” which may have some people scrambling to read plot summaries on Wikipedia. These callbacks clutter up the movie even if they provide opportunities for those who binge watched the series on Paramount+ to horrorsplain to their friends and family.
“Scream” has always been as much of a whodunit as a slasher, so more characters do provide opportunities for misdirection, but the problem here is not just an excess of people. It’s the feeling of the past and the future weighing down the present: the past in how film-nerd chatter gets dutifully shoehorned in (there’s nothing as funny as the post-kill line “I still prefer ‘The Babadook’” from the fifth “Scream”), and the future in how some characters just won’t die because, well, that would mess up “Scream 7” and “Scream 8.” You also get the sense that Sidney, who is mentioned multiple times in the script, is handled diplomatically because the filmmakers hope to lure her back for later movies.
This is the curse of franchise filmmaking. Just because the movie-fan character Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) — who delivers the traditional monologue establishing the rules to survive — draws attention to this issue doesn’t make it go away.
Self-awareness will not fix plausibility or pacing issues or make your movie scarier. It could help a comedy, though, and perhaps that’s the best version of these movies, which would suggest that the filmmakers lighten up and ignore the die-hard horror nerds altogether, along with the snooty critics from The New York Times. How’s that for meta?
Scream VI Rated R for bloody jabbing, stabbing, gabbing. Running time: 2 hours 3 minutes. In theaters.
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Champions review – Woody Harrelson goes for slam dunk in likable basketball drama
Grumpy coach Harrelson trains a team of teens with learning disabilities in this remake of the Spanish film Campeones
T his big-hearted underdog sports comedy runs on rails, with no great surprises, but it’s likable. It’s the story of Marcus (Woody Harrelson), a washed-up, grumpy basketball coach with a booze problem who gets busted for drunk driving: the judge sentences him to 90 days’ community service coaching a basketball team of teens with learning disabilities.
It’s a remake of a Spanish film called Campeones and inspired by a true story from Spain, but the fact that this film is directed by the broad comedy maestro Bobby Farrelly might remind you of The Ringer , the Johnny Knoxville comedy from 2005 that Farrelly produced with his brother Peter. The Ringer had Knoxville pretending to have a mental disability to compete in the Special Olympics. That film toyed with some grossout bad taste before the inevitable segue to sentimental maturity. Champions doesn’t go anywhere near that kind of laugh-at irony, despite a few initial gags in which Marcus is unsure of what to say instead of the R-word.
Marcus’s own conversion to decency happens when he has a relationship with Alex (Kaitlin Olson), the sister of Johnny (Kevin Iannucci) who is one of the players with Down’s – and she steers Marcus away from his bad attitudes. Alex herself is an actor and has a day job touring middle schools with Shakespeare; she makes witty and unexpected use of The Winter’s Tale to help Marcus coach the side.
Inevitably, the team and Marcus get to know and love and each other and Marcus, just as inevitably, has to make some serious life choices. I was a little disappointed in the final implication that coaching a team like this is not, in fact, what a real alpha-guy actually does, but it’s sweet-natured enough.
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- 65 movie review: Adam Driver's sci-fi thriller both salutes and subverts the idea of heroism and hope
65 movie review: Adam Driver's sci-fi thriller both salutes and subverts the idea of heroism and hope
Writers and directors scott beck and bryan woods present a story about survival, and design it with style with their new film 65..
Cast: Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman
Directors: Scott Beck and Bryan Woods
Why would someone title his film 65 ? The answer lies in the plot. A pilot called Mills ( Adam Driver ) is stranded on an unknown planet after a catastrophic collision and soon realizes he’s been marooned on Earth 65 million years ago. He now has nowhere to go, no means to escape, but he does have company to communicate with, Koa (a sure-footed Ariana Greenblatt).
Writers and directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods present a story about survival, and design it with style. Because this is the same duo that wrote A Quiet Place, 65 brims with silences and shocks. There are moments of deep quietness before an overwhelming surprise makes an appearance. But they have far more complex and compelling ideas in mind. Since the makers flirt with the idea of making a science-fiction, there are shots of dinosaurs and other creatures.
Cinematographer Salvatore Totino shoots the film meticulously with his lenses and at places, 65 bursts with imagination. There are minimal dialogues because it’s more important for Mills and Koa to escape than to sit and chatter. They do, in spurts. At one moment, tired and exhausted of finding means to escape, Mills says ‘I’m just tired,’ and Koa repeats those words. The moment may be amusing since she has the tendency to repeat verbatim what he says; but what if she’s tired too? What if she too wishes to escape from this unknown territory?
And that’s precisely why Beck and Woods’ writing works even when the film relies more on camerawork and visual effects. Adam Driver, for all his machismo, is a man of vulnerability. The character not only salutes but also subverts the idea of heroism. Here’s a hero that has the balls to be thrown into the deepest end but also who can feel panic and fear. And that’s precisely what Mills does.
65 may not be as refined or ravishing as the other survival thrillers or sci-fi adventures, but if you’re tired of mush and masculinity, this may be a slightly different experience.
65 is now playing in cinemas
Rating: 3 (out of 5 stars)
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Updated Date: March 10, 2023 10:29:52 IST
- 65 Movie Review
- A Quiet Place
- Adam Driver Ariana Greenblatt Chloe Coleman
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