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Columns : Screen Scene Last Updated: Jan 30, 2019 - 11:29:48 AM

Split - Movie review by Rouén Robinson
By Rouén Robinson
Jan 29, 2019 - 10:20:24 PM

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A riveting tale of a man dealing with the intrusion of his inner voices and the victims who may pay the price if he is unable to control them.

Kevin has 23 distinct personalities. The 24th is about to be unleashed.

When three high school students are abducted by a man suffering from dissociative identity disorder, it soon becomes a matter of survival when they realize their kidnapping is part of a sacrificial ritual. The kidnapper’s psychologist is alerted to his other personalities nefarious intent, but she must piece together clues using her own deductive reasoning from years of studying her patient to find out what his identities are capable of.

Kevin Wendell Crumb is man afflicted with DID (dissociative identity disorder) who has 23 personalities fighting for control of his body with some of them believing in the birth of a 24th personality which will protect them from the hurt and ridicule of the world beyond them. Dr. Karen Fletcher is a psychologist working in the field of DID, who believes that unique physical attributes for each personality are possible in extreme cases and is trying to help Kevin deal with his illness. Casey Cooke is a teenager with a traumatic past and history of disruptive behavior at her high school who finds herself a kidnap victim of one of Kevin’s personalities. Claire Benoit and Marcia are classmates of Casey who were kidnapped with her by Kevin’s Dennis personality to be sacrificed at the emergence of the 24th personality.

Split is an interesting horror driven movie that uses psychological theories extrapolated to a shocking degree as a way of telling a story that is engaging thanks to the honest performances. I found this film to be a thought-provoking character study with a focus on the power of mind over body that was a bit pedestrian until the reveal at the end that changed the type of movie I thought I was watching. James McAvoy gives an award worthy performance with the multi-faceted role, but I found Anya Taylor-Joy’s layered portrayal of her character’s plight to be the acting achievement that deserves attention when the motion picture is re-watched. M. Night Shyamalan is able to write and direct this story set in the universe he created in the year 2000 with such ingenuity that it gives the audience permission to not only feel for the different personalities fighting for control, but also hope for the escape of those they have captured. West Dylan Thordson does an okay job with the score of this film that successfully keeps it off-kilter through out, but it is only when the familiar John Newton Howard created music is used that the cinematic experience is elevated to a goosebump inducing level. This theatrical release is a testament to the power of minimalist storytelling still being able to deliver its themes with solid impact. I rate this movie a rating of 3 & 1/2 out of 5.
On Video On Demand

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