Tag Archives: M. Night Shyamalan

Glass (2019) Movie Review By The Movie Couple

Glass Review, Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson

Movie Couple here!  We saw Glass this weekend!  Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies!  We’re here to tell you if we liked it.  Film students we are not!  Just a quick reminder of our rating system.

Mrs. Movie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out.  we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system.  1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money!  3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent!  5-6 Bills equal Wow!  Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter!  Please take our money again!

We both are old enough to have seen Unbreakable in the theatre (you do the math on our age, yes we were together then as well).  As fans of that film we were eager for this installment.  I had seen Split and was as shocked as everyone else when it turned out at the end to be an extension of Unbreakable.  Mrs. Movie Couple, saw Split on demand at my recommendation.  Full disclosure, we both loved Unbreakable and were (no pun intended) split on Split.  I was a huge fan, my better half not so much.  So now that you have our history with M. Night Shyamalan’s “Trilogy” in the making, lets get to the review.

Glass picks up right where Split left us.  Bruce Willis’ David Dunn in pursuit of James McAvoy’s Kevin Wendall Crumb better known as The Horde.  Soon events bring the two under the care of a Psychiatrist Dr. Ellie Staple (like at the center of comic books?…) played by Sarah Paulson.  Kept under heavy guard as well as lock and key, Dr. Staple is convinced that they and many others suffer from a delusion that they are superheroes right out of a comic book.  She is a specialist in such areas.  We learn that she has been treating Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Price, the Title bearing Mr. Glass, sometime during his incarceration for his actions in Unbreakable.  She is here to help!  She seeks to cure them of this infirmary.

That is a spoiler free plot description.  This could have gone a long way to create suspense for us Unbreakable and Split fans, Is she right?  Are our hero and villains simply nuts?!  Unfortunately, M. Night has proven thoroughly in Unbreakable and Split that this is not he case.  Had we even for a moment in either previous film been left with doubt, this could have kept us guessing.  Had M. Night envisioned this as a trilogy from the beginning, I think that would have been the avenue he would have taken and it would have worked better.  Not to say this movie doesn’t keep us guessing, at least a little.  If you’ve seen the trailers, as Jackson’s Mr. Glass says the bad guys do indeed team up!  And for fans of the first two films it is exactly what we hoped for.

Anya Taylor-Joy returns as survivor girl, Casey Cooke, Spencer Treat Clark is also in tow as David’s now adult son, his “guy in the chair” if you will and Charlayne Woodard shows up as Mrs. Price all of them important anchors to each of the main characters.  Is Dr. Staple on the up and up?  Will the combined might of Mr. Glass and the Beast be more than a match for David Dunn’s Overseer (a nickname he has garnered on line for his vigilante activities)?  If that sounds like a comic book cover, it’s intentional!  All this gets answered and some other twists arise along the way toward our conclusion!   Mr. Glass longs for his life to become  just like the comics he read and worshiped growing up and this is his movie after all.  The conclusion to this film is not what everyone is expecting and some of the twists will have M. Night fans ecstatic and his detractors rolling their eyes.  The performance by McAvoy is a standout!  His portrayal of all the Horde‘s personalities is every bit as good as it was in Split and maybe even better.  His scenes with Taylor-Joy were a highlight!  I can’t praise him enough for his acting skills in this film.  He’s been just OK to us in other things we’ve seen, but here as in Split, McAvoy is a tour de force.

So here we go!

Mr. Movie Couple:  I loved it!  Yes, you may be able to see the twists and reveals coming a bit, but as a conclusion to what started in Unbreakable and Split it was perfect.  It had an ending that I didn’t see coming, as if the film was a relic of the 70’s cinema.  Can’t say why without giving much away, but I mean that in a good way.  Willis and Jackson were great, they slipped back into the roles of David and Elijah as if no time had past at all.  McAvoy for me was worth the price of admission alone!  He was simply amazing!  The ending felt open ended, as if M. Night could return to this ‘Universe’ should he want to, but it won’t be necessary.  If this completes the trilogy with no more to come I feel it was a job well done!  Reviews are mixed, but I enjoyed this film and recommend it highly!

Mrs. Movie Couple:  She liked it!  She really liked it!  Which quite frankly surprised me.  She felt it was a little slow, but felt the conclusion was perfect and surprised her more than she expected it to.  She was also highly impressed with McAvoy.  She couldn’t take her eyes off his performance was her exact words.  At first she didn’t care for the storyline between Taylor-Joy and McAvoy.  She could not understand the victim interacting with her attacker, But by the movie’s conclusion she felt it was her favorite part!  She loved how Casey had become almost Belle-like to Crumb’s Beast!  Again her words not mine!

We both talked about the actors, characters and the film’s conclusion many days after watching it and for us that’s a ringing endorsement.  I give it 5 Bills, the Mrs. gives it 4 Bills, So we give Glass a 4.5 Bills!  I say well worth the money spent on a night out!

So until we head out to the cinema again, which could be a while if the Government Shutdown continues, hard to justify movie tickets and sitters with no paycheck!  See you next date night at the movies!

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The Visit (2015) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

The Visit Review

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan

Plot:  Two siblings become increasingly frightened by their grandparents’ disturbing behaviour while visiting them on vacation.

Running Time: 94 Minutes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 65%   Audience 51%

Why I Watched it: I’d heard decent things and of course it’s a horror film so I have to watch it, plus wanted to see Shyamalan get back to his roots and see what he had left.

Random Thoughts: So this was before Split, now Split was Shyamalan’s comeback, this film has getting his foot back in the door, this was a low budget film done by Blumhouse and it did well enough they gave him the chance to do Split.  Now sometimes a director can get his mojo back by doing something smaller, less money sometimes times means less stress and also makes it easier to do.

What I liked: The two teenagers are pretty good, this is a film with pretty much a no name cast except maybe Kathryn Hahn, but she’s not in it that much.  I really liked Dejonge she’s a solid actress and she has a good screen presence. The big question is did Shyamalan hit it out of the park, again I think this was good cause he scaled down his vision and focused on a couple of things, yes there’s a twist and let’s get this out of the way, the twist is fine, it’s kind of old school, it doesn’t really work once you think it out but ti’s a decent moment in the film when you figure out what’s going on.

I will say this for Shyamalan he does a great job of building up the suspense and also hiding what’s coming, you’re never sure what’s going on but you know something is off but it’s tricky to put your finger on it. I also think they did a good job of fleshing out the two leads, they’re kids who’ve never met their grandparents and their parents have gone throw a divorce when they’re dad has left, a lot of baggage their, some of it is handled well and some not so much.  I do give them credit for at least giving these teenagers some arc and crap to deal with besides being in a horror film.

What I didn’t like: So the whole set up is most of this film is being done as a documentary by the female lead so yes it’s kind of found footage, shaky cam, someone always filming, it’s annoying I’m over this sub genre, it’s a nitpick but that did bother me. Alright let’s deal with the twist in a vague non spoiler way, it’s a huge cheat and some of it doesn’t make sense, it’s a twist where you have to suspend your disbelief a lot. And it does a couple of things that I hate in horror films.  So we need weird things to happen in a horror film but if the leads figure out what’s going on too soon then we have a twenty minute movie, so something strange/weird happens and it gets explained away and once this happens three-four times it begins to get silly, it’s run time bad crap is going to happen.  The other thing is when a character or characters go super crazy at the end you have to ask yourself how did they act so normal for so long, like no signs.

The finale bothered me cause something really gross happens and disturbing and it was cheaply done, they also do another very bad horror cliche, the person is too scared to do anything, they freeze and it happens here and I wasn’t even sure what was going on at first. I will say this about the big finale when the crap hits the fan it’s very hard to see or know what is going on, a big misstep here cause of the shaking cam. The other thing and it’s kind of a spoiler but this film is more of a thriller than horror film, we think maybe some supernatural or something unworldly is going on, not so much.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad film but it falls apart at the end for me, also you throwing this out there, they couldn’t get cell phone reception but they got wi-fi, and at any time they could have called their mother on a landline.

Rating: 5/10

Split (2016) Movie Review by Kevan McLaughlin

SPLIT

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: James McAvoy,  Anya Taylor-Joy,  Haley Lu Richardson

M. Night Shyamalan delivers his best film since Unbreakable in a tense and claustrophobic thriller with James McAvoy shining in a number of different (but equally terrifying) roles.

Outsider Casey (Taylor-Joy), attending a party none of her classmates want her at, is kidnapped along with Marcia (Sula) and Claire (Richardson) by an eerily calm and focused man who swiftly incapacitates Claire’s father, enters the car the girls are waiting in and knocks them all out before driving away.

The girls are being held captive by Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder and who holds, in his mind, 23 distinct personalities. The personality who took the girls is Dennis, a man with violent tendencies and OCD. Noticing Dennis’ compulsion for cleanliness and order, Casey uses this to the girls’ advantage when Dennis tries to take Marcia and yells at her to pee herself, knowing that Dennis wouldn’t be able to cope with the mess  and he abandons his plans.

The girls’ first encounter with a second personality, cementing their terror as they realise the gravity of their increasingly bizarre abduction, is Patricia. Marcia and Claire spy a woman through the keyhole of the locked door conversing with Dennis and plead for the softly spoken lady to rescue them.

When Patricia enters the room they not only see that it’s the same person who abducted them, but register that Patricia and Dennis were just having a discussion on the other side of the door. The sight of a shaven-haired McAvoy dressed in heels and a skirt trying to reassure the terrified teenagers is as startling as it is awkwardly hilarious. Patricia describing Dennis by saying “he’s not well” is, perhaps, one of the most chilling moments in psychological horror history, up there with Annie Wilkes being a fangirl, Jame Gumb’s obsession with lotion and Jack Torrance struggling with dividing his time between work and recreational activities.

Kevin attends therapy with Dr. Fletcher (Buckley) who believes that people with Dissociative Identity Disorder can exhibit a multitude of physiological states as well as psychological. The personality that talks with Dr. Fletcher is Barry, an extroverted leader who controls the ‘light’ – the method in which the 23 personalities take turns to control Kevin’s body. But Dr. Fletcher is convinced that it’s not Barry she’s talking with, but Dennis. She also reveals that she’s aware that Dennis and Patricia are banished from the light because of their “beliefs”. The expelled duo have supplanted Barry in an effort to bring forth a 24th personality, the Beast.

The person who now controls who gets their time in the light is Hedwig, a nine year old boy who’s eager to please Patricia and Dennis and has taken to talking with the girls. Hedwig, like any other nine year old, can’t fully grasp the seriousness of the impending doom or the danger the girls are in.

Shyamalan has succeeded in delivering a genuinely terrifying psychological horror that, in the spirit of the Shining, also has aspects of the paranormal. The taut atmosphere conjured by a crescendo of fear and paranoia is compelling and repellent in equal measure, making for a wonderfully, thrilling ride. Alarm that Split may have entered into the murky waters of stigmatising mental health disorders by tapping into that particular genre which plays on the popular fear of unpredictability of such conditions are unfounded as this film gently moves from thriller to supernatural horror.

McAvoy is wonderful to watch as he transitions from personality to personality. His ability to portray convincing roles from wide-eyed child to obsessive sociopath, from matriarchal menace to flamboyant artist is truly exceptional. Whilst chilling, it’s also worth noting his ability for comic timing, especially as Patricia. His uncomfortably long pauses and insincere attempts to convey comfort with mock-sympathetic glances are extraordinarily hilarious and will leave audiences laughing into their popcorn.

As is the nature of Shyamalan’s films it’s impossible to delve too deeply into the plot because you know there’s going to be spoilers and twists and no one want to shatter that illusion like it’s made of glass.

An authentically scary couple of hours in a world bereft of genuine cinematic scares.