Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Split (2017, M. Night Shyamalan)

Even though I agree with those who feel that Split is not a realistic potrait of someone with mental illness, as a horror film it works a lot. Shyamalan goes back to what made him an effective director, and I have heard good things about The Visit, as well. James McAvoy is really terrifying in this movie, and Anya Taylor-Joy is a perfect foil for him, particularly for reasons that I cannot spoil in this review. Kevin turns out to be a rather complex and interesting case study, especially since he has multiple personalities living inside his mind.

Due to the film’s run time not all of them are shown, and the ones featured range from harmless to disturbed. Both Kevin’s doctor and Casey, the film’s protagonist, have the misfortune to discover the last hidden identity Kevin has stored away: The Beast. Which leads to a pretty frightening last act and McAvoy doing some excellent acting. He was really perfect for the main role. Taylor-Joy gives a strong, haunted and understated performance in a film that rests on the audience believing this could happen. With Split M. Night reaffirms that he is back to making quality films worth seeing, and I eagerly await Glass, which comes out next year.

Horrorfest 2015 Presents: What We Do In The Shadows (2015, Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement)

Just when you think the found footage/fake documentary style horror film has run its course there comes along another film that proves the doubters wrong. What We Do In The Shadows is one such film, and it is a hilarious entry in the sub genre that has recently been overwhelmed by Parnamormal Activity and it’s endless sequels. Lately Twilight has caused a good response in terms of some great vampire moves, so that’s good, I guess.

Living in an old house, hidden from society are a bunch of old vampires. What I love about this movie is that the jokes are well executed and range from slapstick to witty, often all in the same moment. The cast is top notch and each member adds to the funny proceedings. One of my favorite jokes is the bat fight scene, which is as amusing as it sounds. Although the last act wears a bit thin you have to laugh at Vlad going on and on about “The Beast.” Not to mention smile at the idea of werewolves and vampires talking smack to one another. Based on this and Housebound New Zealand horror has a very bright future indeed.

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