REVIEW: Split amuses crime and horror fans alike

Split was scary, but more like a true crime story than a traditional horror movie.

Fair Use Image: Split Movie Instagram

Split was scary, but more like a true crime story than a traditional horror movie.

Take ghosts, goblins, and ghouls out of horror movies and what’s made? Not much. The center of most horror movies is supernatural and non-human in nature. This creates a fear of the monster under the bed. What’s even scarier though, is the monster living next door.

Split is about a man with dissociative identity disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder. He claims he has 23 personalities living inside of him, each taking turns stepping into the light. Depending on which personality is in the spotlight, his clothing changes, his voice changes, ‘his’ name changes (he has male and female personalities), and his actual biology can change. One personality needs insulin shots for their diabetes while none of the others do.

The human element is what makes Split so scary

Many in the medical community don’t believe in this disorder, but one psychologist in the film is attempting to push this into acceptance through the example of this man. In reality, 25,000-250,000 people in the US have this disorder. So it could be that someone right next door suffers from multiple personality disorder.

In the film, three girls are abducted from a parking lot by this man with dissociative identity disorder. They are drugged and taken to an unknown location where they meet various personalities and attempt to escape by manipulating them, but all efforts were unsuccessful. As the plot progresses, they are introduced to the idea of ‘the beast,’ who is an all-powerful 24th identity. It is clear that an encounter with the 24th identity will be how the movie ends, and is somewhat predictable. However, the ‘scary’ being in this movie is ultimately human.

The human element is what makes Split so scary. While it has gotten heat for villainizing a man with a serious mental disorder, it creates a more human fear than other horror movies. Split was scary in the way that a true crime movie or Criminal Minds is, not like Insidious or Paranormal Activity.

For fans of crime shows, Split is a chilling movie that combines a potentially scary disorder and the very human fear of abduction.



4 out of 5 stars