Through the years we are given movies that are meant to instill fear by having an individual be murderous or have some unfortunate event happen to a large group of people. Movies like this pin us to our seats while simultaneously making us yell at the girl who isn’t running fast enough. This genre of “thriller” movies mixes the the fear of horror films with the edginess of realistic events and sends chills down our spines. Split is a pretty decent example of the interesting nature of this genre.
Starring X-Men actor James McAvoy, Split is a film about a man suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) who kidnaps three teenage girls with intentions of feeding them to one of the identities. The girls interact with four of the 23 identities the man they eventually learn to be named Kevin possesses. Each of the girls believe that they have a handle on how to get out of wherever they are captured but it proves to be a much more difficult task than any of them had imagined. Kevin’s dominant identities believe in one called “The Beast” and spend most of the film preparing for his arrival. The emergence of the different identities kept audience members on their toes while they attempted to overcome the sadness of the girls attempts to free themselves.
Overall, the movie was extremely interesting and entertaining. The different pieces of the story that told exactly what Kevin’s identities were up to were skillfully released at perfect moments and actor James McAvoy did an extremely impressive job of embodying each of the characters he was expected to play. There is even a scene where he switches between at least three identities within seconds and it is outstanding to watch.
Public response to the movie has been fairly good, making $40.2 million in its opening weekend. However, the film has received backlash for portraying DID in such a negative light. Viewers are meant to see Kevin’s identities as evil and dangerous when this is not necessarily the case. Although the movie does talk about the disease being hard to treat, hard to diagnose, and even harder to live with (as there are those who refuse to accept its existence), it still depicts the DID community in a less than desirable fashion.
As someone who is willing to pay to see most movies multiple times, I wouldn’t see this one again. This is not because I didn’t like the movie, but because I was just so engulfed in the film that I was honestly scared at some points. I really appreciate having strong emotions about the movie because often times, it is hard to take “thrillers” seriously. Split continues grow in the box office and based off of the surprise ending, the audiences should be excited to see what comes next.