Archive for Anya Taylor-Joy

Review: Split (2016)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2017 by Xander Woolf

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Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson

What’s it about?
Split follows a man named Kevin (McAvoy) who has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). One of his alternative identities kidnaps three teenaged girls in an effort to sacrifice them to “The Beast.” The three girls must find their way out while Kevin’s other alters work to either help or hinder the alter responsible.

What did I think?
I’ve got to be honest with you, I had no idea this was an M. Night Shyamalan movie until my boyfriend and I went to go see it opening weekend. I’m not on my game lately. I have to tell you, though, my assertion in my review of The Visit is still true: M. Night Shyamalan is back.

The acting was superb. James McAvoy’s ability to switch between Kevin’s alters within seconds is just astounding. Anya Taylor-Joy also brings an amazing performance to the table, which can only be expected after her excellent acting in The Witch.

The premise is terrifying, even if problematic. In a time when society is struggling to end the stigma against mental illness, M. Night Shyamalan releases a movie where the villain is a villain because he has DID. This can be harmful to the perception of mental illness in this country. If not for Kevin’s well-meaning psychiatrist, Dr Fletcher (Betty Buckley), who asserts that those with DID have ascended to a higher plane than us mere humans, it would be completely problematic.

Overall, though, the movie was scary and filled with an amazing amount of suspense. And the twist ending, which I’m sure you all already know about, is amazing. And, more good news, M. Night Shyamalan is going to make another one to complete his trifecta!

Do I recommend it?
Yes, despite its problems, it’s still an amazingly well-made movie. M. Night Shyamalan is definitely back… Let’s just hope he doesn’t revert back and try to make another Avatar

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Review: The Witch (2016)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Written and Directed by: Robert Eggers
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie
Release Date: Feb. 19, 2016

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The Witch was a much anticipated indie horror film that has won six awards from six separate film festivals, including the London Film Festival and the infamous Sundance Film Festival.

What’s it about?
The Witch follows a teenage girl by the name of Thomasin (Taylor-Joy) and her family in 1630s America. The family is forced out of the town in which they lived and made to live on a farm in the middle of nowhere. When strange and horrible things begin to happen, the highly religious family suspects witchcraft is involved.

Here’s the trailer:

What did I think?
I was so excited to see this movie, especially after Stephen King praised it so highly. I tried for months to get a screener from the film maker, but received no reply. After so many festival wins, though, I’m not surprised.

To be completely honest, I didn’t find the film to be scary. That’s not to say it isn’t a brilliant film, I’m just not afraid of witches or the threat of witchcraft. That being said, the film did a majorly good job in building the suspense and surprising me in the end.

The plot itself was thorough and well constructed. The Witch is a brilliant portrayal of the very real fears that religious Americans in the early 1600s had. There wasn’t one part where I thought, “But what about…?” There were no holes. Instead, I was intrigued from the very first moment to the last.

The actors did an amazing job, as well. They each handled the older language well and were believable in their many flaws. I did have a bit of an issue understanding a lot of what they said, so I would love to watch it over again with some subtitles, but I was still able to follow along very well.

The ending shocked me, to say the least, but I won’t elaborate as to avoid spoilers.

Do I recommend it?
Oh yes, I do. Even if I didn’t find it scary, plenty of other people did. It’s got everything historical horror should have: realism, suspense, wonder and a dab of the unknown. Go watch it for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments below!

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