Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Leads: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson
OK, so I was bored and didn’t know what to watch. In all honesty, I hadn’t heard of this movie or anything to do with it. I know M. Night Shyamalan has been renowned as a great director to many for his work on the movie “The Sixth Sense.” I know he has been criticized for his other films because they can’t live up to that pinnacle. Anyways, I was looking for something to watch and this ended up being it. A total shot in the dark. I could have loved it or hated it, I really didn’t know.
A quick summary, minus spoilers, to get things started is in order. There are three girls that get kidnapped by a man with 23 different identities, and of course 23 different names haha. He is played by James McAvoy. The lead girl is Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), followed by Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), and lastly Marcia (Jessica Sula). These girls are held hostage by this man, and all of his identities. Throughout the whole movie the girls are trying to figure out a way to escape. They aren’t entirely what the captor’s motives are, or why they were kidnapped, seemingly at random. James McAvoy’s character visits a psychologist, named Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley), throughout the movie. He specialty seems to be working with this identity disorder. He comes to her for help, yet can never get his termoils across to her in a meaningful way. It is up to Dr. Fletcher to read him and figure out who he is most times. The story continues and things increasingly get worse and worse for James McAvoy’s character, until something major happens. From there you don’t know what is about to happen! I’ll leave it at that. Dastardly, I know. 😀
I must give huge props to James McAvoy. He plays this role amazingly. You may recognize him from his other works like: Various X-Men movies as young Professor X, The lead in “Wanted” with Angelina Jolie, or “Filth” as a bipolar cop. This is one of those roles, where no matter how you feel about the actor you have to respect what he was able to accomplish with the role. Honestly, he makes the movie what it is. The story line of the main female character isn’t developed enough for me. I mean Anya Taylor-Joy does a great job as playing a weird outcast, That maybe shouldn’t have been in the position she was, but her story line could have gone into more detail for me personally. The movie is 117 minutes long, and stays in that sweet spot. The pace is good for the genre, but I must say that I wouldn’t agree that it is a full fledge horror film. Thriller sure, horror meh, possibly. Another thing I have to mention is that the way the camera cuts and changes frequently must have been hard. Usually when James McAvoy’s indentiy changes you have a slight or hard cut to/from something else. Most other movies don’t have that. That is something that they had to remain aware of throughout the whole film.
There are a few things I found that had some deeper meaning to them in the movie. Just under the surface. Hmm, how can I say this without giving anything away? There is a theme about how people perceive others that carries through the whole movie. You will see it in the beginning and end of the movie. That is about all I can say without giving too much away.
In summary, of my summary, the movie was well paced, had a stupendous lead actor, a good supporting cast. It wasn’t too long or too short. It is a movie that takes on something culturally that most movies wouldn’t, at least not in that detail. I don’t think it justifies a main genre of horror, and I think there should have been a more in depth story line for Anya Taylor-Joy’s character. Over all I enjoyed the movie. I would watch it again, just for James McAvoy!
Give this movie a watch, it will keep you thinking and keep you wanting more.
I personally give this movie a 7/10