- ‘Glass’ Quiz: Are You a Hero, Villain, or Mastermind?
- The Best Ways ‘Gotham’ Has Changed Batman’s Origin
- All the Times ‘This is Us’ Left Us Devastated
- 10 Fan-Favorite Midseason TV Shows You Can Catch Up on Right Now on Hulu
- Watch the NFC Championship Mascots Get Ready to Smash in This Head-to-Head Match
- Check Out the AFC Championship Mascots in the “Ultimate” Video Game Match-Up
- Slice and Dice: Breaking Down the Beast’s First Kill in ‘Split’
Posted: 18 Jan 2019 03:54 PM PST
M. Night Shyamalan’s mash-up movie Glass is now in theaters, combining characters from 2000’s Unbreakable with 2016’s surprise hit Split. The movie stars Bruce Willis as a security guard with superhuman abilities, Samuel L. Jackson as a highly intelligent mastermind, and James McAvoy as a man with over 20 different personalities whose body chemistry changes with each personality.
Speaking of personalities, which of these characters from the film suits you best: hero, villain, or mastermind? Take our quiz to find out, then watch Fandom’s in-depth review of the film below.
The post ‘Glass’ Quiz: Are You a Hero, Villain, or Mastermind? appeared first on FANDOM.
Posted: 18 Jan 2019 11:43 AM PST
Pulling off a Batman TV series without Batman as a main character has been a tricky feat for FOX's Gotham, especially when it’s also taken and tweaked very specific Batman-centric stories from the comics for its own usage.
But having the Caped Crusader's rogues' gallery of villains — like Penguin, Riddler, Hugo Strange, Scarecrow, etc — arrive on the scene over decade before their shadowy adversary has created a crisp and clever new tapestry that helps Gotham solidly stand out from other Batman adaptations.
With Gotham now in its fifth and final — you can keep up with new episodes on Hulu — and check out these intriguing ways the show has changed Batman's origin:
Traditionally, Batman made his big splash in Gotham in order rid the streets of regular, run of the mill mobsters and criminals. Every dastardly and diabolical villain that we associate with Batman, the crazy costumed ones that followed suit, came afterwards and are believed to be the result of, and reaction to, Batman's brutal justice.
On Gotham, when Batman finally comes about (rumors have the last episode of the final season taking place 10 years in the future), it will be because the entire city's already been overrun with sinister super-powered villains. Batman will actually be an intense reaction to the bad guys, instead of vice versa. He will be the result of the escalation, with Bruce realizing that he'll have to use theatrics and fear to overcome the outrageous villains that have run roughshod over Gotham for years.
PARTNERS IN CRIME (BUSTING)
Honestly, Jim Gordon will have to be a fool not to realize that Batman is Bruce Wayne by the time the transformation comes. It's also entirely possible that Gotham won't even try to keep it a secret. The reason? Jim and Bruce have been teaming up to thwart crime and corruption since the day Bruce's parents were murdered on the orders of his own company and Jim was the detective in charge of solving the case.
Granted, Jim was totally against Bruce getting involved in anything dangerous at such a young age, but as the years went on, and Bruce proved himself to be a trusted friend and trained fighter, Jim began to realize the young man – now a teenager – was a capable ally with the resources to help bring down some of the cities biggest threats. So together these two have been acting like the city's Batman, suffering similar triumphs and defeats that you might expect from a Batman adventure.
THOMAS' MANCAVE IS BRUCE'S BATCAVE
Since Gotham created an entire conspiracy out of Thomas and Martha Wayne's murders — tracing the horrific crime back to Hugo Strange and the experiments he was doing under the watchful eye of Wayne Enterprises — it stands to reason that Bruce wouldn't be the first person in his family to harbor secrets.
So, on the show, Bruce doesn't stumble upon a web of uncharted tunnels under Wayne Manor. He discovers a secret passageway to his father's hidden lair. It was an underground office Thomas used whenever he would attempt to investigate his own company for wrongdoings. And Bruce would use it for the same reasons. To uncover the evil heart at the center of his family's legacy.
BATMAN YEAR ZERO
Instead of waiting years and years to don a mask and fight muggers by moonlight, a teenage Bruce Wayne suited up, with full armor, stealth tech, and a mask in order to exact justice on the streets of his beloved city. Again, a full decade before he decides to become The Bat.
With everything happening on Gotham — from Ra's al Ghul's conquest, to multiple Joker surrogates, to the upcoming No Man's Land arc — Bruce's final step into Batman-dom will feel quite small. It might be just as simple as putting bat ears on his already constructed crime fighting armor and finally deciding on a singular theme. By the time Batman rolls out, for the first time, Bruce will have had ample experience dealing with his hometown's homegrown madness and fighting all forms of obstacles and opposition. Let's just say the learning curve's been handily obliterated.
The post The Best Ways ‘Gotham’ Has Changed Batman's Origin appeared first on FANDOM.
Posted: 18 Jan 2019 11:43 AM PST
If you're looking for a cool, cathartic cry then you know there's no better show to watch than This is Us. A generation-spanning sob-a-palooza, This is Us has broken through as one of the greatest tearjerkers in the history of TV.
The story of Jack and Rebecca Pearson – played superbly in flashbacks by Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore – and their three now-grown children is guaranteed to move you multiple times per episode. This is Us has perfected the art of the breaking viewers down to their vulnerable cores.
With the show now in Season 3 — you can catch up and watch new episodes and past seasons exclusively on Hulu — it's time to look at the show's most heart-wrenching moments.
After hours of complicated labor, Jack learns that one of Rebecca's triplets was stillborn. Gerald McRaney’s Dr. K realizes that the frantic father isn't processing the news clearly and takes the man aside, in all his confusion, and shares some of his own life's tragedies. The recent death of his wife. The fact that his first child, five decades earlier, was also stillborn. And under pressing tears, Dr. K advises Jack to spin the tragedy into the best positive outcome available. Right out of the gate, this show was aiming straight for our heats with no mercy.
When the Pearson's adopted son Randall – the impeccable Sterling K. Brown – suffers a nervous breakdown brought on by escalating anxiety and neurosis, brother Kevin – the wonderful Justin Hartley – immediately leaves the theater on the opening night of his play, without giving it a second thought, and runs to his brother's office just so he can hold him in the midst of his emotional turmoil. If you didn't cry after this, you're a stone-cold monster.
When Randal lost his birth father, William, we LOST IT. Having just gotten to know William, barely, during a road trip, Randal comforted his dying father with a technique that his adoptive father Jack used to calm him down during bouts of anxiety – the gentle placement of hands on each side of the head. It was one of the most aggressively moving scenes the show's ever done and we still haven't full recovered.
"Katie-girl…I have a drinking problem.”
When Jack admits his alcoholism to daughter Kate in an attempt to come clean and earnestly face his demons head-on, it was a soul crusher. Ventimiglia's loving, but broken, performance was everything in this brief scene where Jack finally had to reveal to his girl the darkness he'd been hiding from her. Never wanting his children to see him as anything but a strong and stable provider and patriarch.
"I just need somebody to help me."
Pill-addicted Kevin's brutal breakdown after losing Jack's necklace, the only thing Kevin had from his late father, was a gut punch of epic proportions. Watching a man, the eldest sibling of The Big Three, crumble into a weeping mess after pleading to get the necklace back was another crushing wave amidst This is Us' sea of devastation.
Paired with a flashback featuring Rebecca addressing her and Kate's recurring issues with mother/daughter intimacy, and how it was her job as a mother, to be there with her arms wide open for Kate to fall into whenever she needed comfort and love, Rebecca visits Kate in the present, following Kate's miscarriage, and envelopes her in an embrace that the two rarely share. It was textbook This is Us annihilation.
The scene everyone knew was coming did not disappoint in the creeping dread department. The infamous crockpot, gifted to the Pearsons by neighbors, would torch a home filled with warm memories and cause Jack's untimely death. All set to The Cinematic Orchestra's "To Build a Home." Which is already unfair since that song will make you cry just appearing in a commercial for drain cleaner.
After Jack's demise, the Pearsons visit his favorite tree to scatter his ashes. While we all scattered our tears. Rebecca tells Kate that her father's death wasn't her fault and then, after the children move off-screen, she whispers to the wind "We're going to be okay, baby. I promise you, we're going to be okay." It's a moment surely designed in a laboratory, by top scientists, to extract the most crying from unsuspecting TV watchers.
"We're scared sometimes that we forget to do the thing that keeps us alive."
Remember the face-cupping breathing technique that leveled us when William died? Well, that was passed down to Randall from Jack. And Jack, as we'd learn in Season 3, picked it up from Robinson in Vietnam after Robinson lost his foot. It's like a nesting doll of ferocious feels that helps This is Us retain the title of World Heavyweight Champion of making fans bawl their brains out.
Posted: 18 Jan 2019 11:42 AM PST
As we officially enter TV's anticipated midseason, marked by the return of so many fan-favorite TV shows, it's the perfect time to catch up. Whether you're behind on entire seasons or if you just need a quick rewatch refresher, Hulu's got you covered.
Don't forget to set a reminder for these popular TV picks:
Gotham returns for its fifth and final season this January, as the "No Man's Land" saga begins and the city gets overtaken by the likes of Penguin, Riddler, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, and dozens of other Batman baddies.
It's up to Jim Gordon, Bruce Wayne, and a few others who've stayed behind to protect the innocent citizens still trapped in the murderous metropolis while new creeps, like Bane and Magpie, join the chaos. Catch up on the first four seasons in time to join the fight for Gotham's soul.
After five seasons, it was almost curtains for the crew at Brooklyn's noice!-est precinct. But thanks to a Die Hard-style save by NBC, these outrageous offerers are back on the job this at the top of the new year – and you can binge all of their crime-busting buffoonery to your heart's content.
From Jake and Amy's "opposites attract" romance to Boyle's love of uniquely gross cuisine to the gang's epic Halloween games, Brooklyn Nine-Nine takes a loving look at the NYPD's finest and funniest.
THE GOOD PLACE
Recently picked up for a fourth season, The Good Place's endlessly amusing take on the Afterlife makes it one of the truly funniest shows on TV.
What if there was a secret point system in place that every human was judged by, and the results determined your ultimate fate in the hereafter? That's what selfish Eleanor, anxious Chidi, spoiled Tahani, and sweet-but-stupid Jason discover after their untimely deaths send them on a dimension-spanning journey of self-discovery and spiritual hilarity. Filled with serialized twists and turns that one doesn't usually expect from a TV comedy, The Good Place makes for a comically cosmic binge on Hulu.
Imagine if your expert skills at gaming led future rat-eating dystopian warriors to believe you're the one true savior of the entire human race. That's the story behind the crude and uproarious Hulu Original, Future Man – from executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
The Hunger Games' Josh Hutcherson plays an underachiever who gets roped into a mirthful, mind-bending time travel adventure in order to save the world from being annihilated by robot overlords. Season 2 lands on January 11, so there's plenty of time to mainline the first season and get caught up on all the R-rated rambunctiousness.
THIS IS US
Now that we've highlighted a bunch of hilarity, it's time for tears. ALL the tears. This is Us has quickly become everyone's go-to series for devastating drama and weeping catharsis. And with Season 3 in the middle of a winter break, it's the perfect time to start binging from the beginning and catch up in time for the show's return mid-January.
Dan Fogelman's generations-spanning story of a Pittsburgh family, the Pearsons, and the tragic loss of their patriarch decades ago has given viewers a misty-eyed mystery to crack, all while having their heartstrings yanked lefts and right. Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown and the rest of the stellar cast will take your breath away.
With over 300 episodes, it might be a fun challenge to watch, or re-watch, all 14 previous seasons of hit medical drama Grey's Anatomy. And since the show's on a break until January 17, you've got some time to do it. And once you start, you'll be instantly hooked while following Ellen Pompeo's Meredith Grey and her journey from intern to Chief of Surgery to Hospital Board Member.
You'll get shocking shootings, brain tumors, aviation accidents, and dozens of other can't-miss moments of drama and danger as the staff of Seattle Grace Hospital experiences tragedies and triumphs on one of most iconic primetime medical shows of the modern era.
Currently wrapping up its thrilling "David vs. Goliath" season, after almost 20 years on the air, Survivor's still steaming ahead at full speed. Filled with endless betrayals and countless "OMG!" moments, you can't go wrong bingeing a season of Survivor – from "Heroes vs. Villains" to "Millennials vs. Gen X" and more!
And it's the perfect window for watching too since Season 38, titled Edge of Extinction, will start up late February/early March. That's plenty of time to become a Survivor expert. Would you be able to hang in these tropical paradises? Could you jump off a tall cliff or cling to a totem pole? Let this pioneering reality series put you to the test.
It's a tough thing to break into FOX's Sunday Night Animation Domination lineup, with heavyweights like Family Guy and The Simpsons, but Bob's Burgers quickly made a name for itself as a powerhouse performer and an instant animated classic.
A brisk binge of Bob's Burgers, which is in the middle of its ninth season, goes down smooth like a Girls Just Wanna Have Fennel Burger (or even a One Horse Open Slaw, for those in the holiday mood). Bob Belcher's constant love-hate-love relationship with his lovingly inept family makes for a marvelous midseason marathon, whether the exterminator truck out front reads No More Mr. Mice Guy or Rat Be Nimble, Rat Be Dead.
Looking for a legendary three decades-deep catalog of comedy? Hulu's got all 30 seasons (and counting) of The Simpsons.
It's been said that every sitcom story and situation has already been done by The Simpsons, and with over 600 episodes, that's not hard to believe. Within this famed family's extraordinary exploits you'll find crazy-lovable townsfolk, hundreds of guest stars (Michael Jackson, Leonard Nimoy, etc), and creepily accurate predictions (President Trump, Lady Gaga's Halftime Show, etc). The Simpsons, as a landmark series and a pop culture juggernaut, makes for the perfect re-watch. You can even introduce the show to a whole new generation of young eyes. It's guaranteed to create instant fans.
If The Simpsons are our First Family, then The Griffins are the loud, crazy neighbors who constantly have the police called on them. Sharp, satirical, and sinister, Family Guy has been pushing comedy boundaries for 17 seasons – and Hulu's got them all.
What started as a skewering of traditional sitcom storytelling has morphed into a magnificent craze of comedy, catchphrases, and cultural touchstones. And with its new season – which is on break for a month – boasting a fun reference to N64's Goldeneye game and a touching tribute to Carrie Fisher (who voiced Peter's boss Angela), the series is still clearly hitting the high notes.
The post 10 Fan-Favorite Midseason TV Shows You Can Catch Up on Right Now on Hulu appeared first on FANDOM.
Posted: 18 Jan 2019 09:11 AM PST
The NFL Playoffs is down to four teams, and their mascots are ready to duke it out in two new episodes “Super Smash Bowl,” an homage to a certain mega-hit franchise that dropped on the Nintendo Switch last month. Check out how the NFC mascots KO’d their competition last week and how they match up for this Sunday:
Rampage (Rams) vs. Sir Saint (Saints)
In the Divisional round, Rowdy from the Cowboys made a valiant attempt to lasso the Rams’ Rampage, but the ram’s overwhelming strength propelled him to victory — and Rowdy out of the match. Now Rampage faces off against Sir Saint, who repelled an attack from the Eagles’ Swoop to claim a spot in the NFC Championship round. Who will come out on top: noble knight or noble beast?
Watch the Los Angeles Rams take on the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Sunday at 3:05pm ET on FOX.
The post Watch the NFC Championship Mascots Get Ready to Smash in This Head-to-Head Match appeared first on FANDOM.
Posted: 18 Jan 2019 09:09 AM PST
The NFL Playoffs is down to four teams, and their mascots are ready to duke it out in two new episodes “Super Smash Bowl,” an homage to a certain mega-hit franchise that dropped on the Nintendo Switch last month. Check out how the AFC mascots KO’d their competition last week and how they match up for this Sunday:
Pat Patriot (Patriots) vs. KC Wolf (Chiefs)
Last round, Pat Patriot deflected the Chargers’ mascot’s attempts to electrify the field with a dominant performance that now pits him against KC Wolf of the Chiefs, who summoned the strength of his wolfpack to overrun the Colts’ Blue. Will the veteran patriot or the upstart wolf claim victory?
Watch the New England Patriots battle the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Sunday at 6:40pm ET on CBS.
The post Check Out the AFC Championship Mascots in the “Ultimate” Video Game Match-Up appeared first on FANDOM.
Posted: 18 Jan 2019 06:44 AM PST
SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Glass. Proceed at your own risk.
When M. Night Shyamalan unleashed Split onto the world in 2016, he loosed a monstrous new villain that knocked audiences for six. In the first of a new series called ‘Slice and Dice’, we dissect one of the Beast‘s key scenes from Split, with help from M. Night Shyamalan himself. You can watch the director’s exclusive scene commentary in the video directly below, and his thoughts on Glass in a separate video further down.
The scene in question comes in the film's final act when we witness the Beast's first kill; the moment a modus operandi is established as he crushes Betty Buckley’s Dr Fletcher to death using his ‘anaconda’ grip. We eventually see him repeat this technique in Glass, early on, when James McAvoy’s antagonist finally comes face to face with Bruce Willis’s unbreakable superhero, David Dunn, and then again later in a starkly contrasting confrontation with a hospital orderly.
With the Beast one of Shyamalan's most complex screen creations and pivotal to Glass, the final piece of Shyamalan's Eastrail 177 trilogy puzzle, this timely scene breakdown helps us to understand both who he is and the role he plays in the overarching superhero/villain story. It also provides proof that Shyamalan — who's had varying degrees of success in his directing career — is at his best when he's dabbling in horror. We look at Shyamalan's horror credentials, his masterful construction of the scene itself and how he increases its impact in the moments leading up to it, and why it's so significant.
Shyamalan as Horror Maestro
Coming hot on the heels of Shyamalan's most profitable film ever at that point in time — 2015's modestly budgeted The Visit, which made $98.5 million at the global box office on its tiny $5 million, Split's punch was all the more powerful. The Visit marked Shyamalan's first sojourn into horror since his breakthrough supernatural chiller The Sixth Sense in 1999, and its success laid claim to the notion that horror is where Shyamalan's strength lies, following a string of flops setting foot in other genres. Audiences were excited for Split, and its success cemented his reputation as a major player when it comes to scary movies.
A captivity horror with (of course) a twist, the film marked Shyamalan’s third in the genre. Of course, by the end credits, it's clear that Split is a comic-book movie dressed in (genuinely unsettling) horror clothing; a stealth sequel to Unbreakable — his lukewarmly received superhero offering from 2000 that has since garnered a cult following.
While Split proved a hit both critically (scoring 76% on Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer) and commercially, it appalled some viewers, however. Such was the strength of feeling towards Shyamalan's on-screen portrayal of the real-life condition known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) with Shyamalan's antagonist, whose original identity is Kevin Wendell Crumb, having to contend with 23 alternate personalities.
Of course, no horror film worth its salt is without controversy. And if there's any doubt that Split is a significant addition to horror's annals, you'd do well to consider a classic it's clearly influenced by — Psycho. Just as Split was taken to task for its potentially damaging look at DID, Psycho — another film featuring an antagonist with the condition — also faced dissent for its split personality 'gender-bending'. In Hitchcock's influential pic, Anthony Perkins' Norman Bates identifies as his deceased mother when he kills. Though people weren't necessarily up in arms for the same reasons back then.
Split's similarities with Psycho don't end there, and, like Norman Bates, the Beast's story is a captivating one, unfurling as it does throughout the film via James McAvoy's character Kevin and his various personalities. Three of whom make up an entity known as the Horde, working in collusion to support the Beast's vision, which is to cleanse the world of the ‘impure’ making way for the ‘pure’ to inherit the earth. A sentiment, incidentally, that creator M Night Shyamalan tells us he identifies with, adding weight to the notion that the Beast is arguably one of cinema's more complex villains of recent years.
Shower Scene Parallels
It's surely no accident that elements of the Split scene are reminiscent of Psycho's shower scene. Just as the Split sequence begins with Dr Fletcher writing, so the famous Psycho scene starts with Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane doing the same. Shyamalan's kill sequence also mirrors Hitchcock's in the way it's shot and edited. The director describes the "jagged", fragmentary nature of Fletcher's death as he cuts from her face, to the Beast's arms around her middle, back to her face, which repeats with a couple of additional angles thrown in.
This is similar to the way Alfred Hitchcock put the shower scene together. In aligning the scene with this classic sequence, Shyamalan is drawing parallels between his character and Norman Bates, helping us to understand his antagonist's motives, and condition, a little more clearly by also making us think about the differences between the two. It’s highly likely that Shyamalan’s inclusion of female-identifying personalities is another deliberate reference to Hitchcock’s 1960 masterpiece.
The shower scene is the defining element of Psycho. Similarly, the moment the Beast is finally fully revealed serves as the pivotal point in Split. Indeed, it's perhaps Shyamalan's most significant scene, not only in its establishment of a truly unique MO for one of the modern era's most complex and intriguing villains, but also in what it says about the Beast's psychology. More importantly, it's proof of Shyamalan's credentials as a modern master of horror — in the sequence's craftsmanship as well as in the way it impacts following the film's smartly measured tension-ramping efforts.
Socially On Point
For Shyamalan, the Beast is an avenging angel. "In a way that is definitely close to my heart," says Shyamalan. "That idea of defending those that have been damaged and not letting people put you down because of the stuff that you've gone through."
It's a timely sentiment; one that resonates with oppressed 'minorities', survivors of abuse and, indeed, people who simply don't 'fit the mould'; many of whom, in the advent of social media, have taken to the internet's various platforms to make their voices heard. Though, of course, there's a flip side to the Beast's honourable starting point, and that's the kidnapping and murder — by EATING ALIVE, no less — of young women he deems to be privileged, to have never suffered, and therefore "impure". There's no question that the Beast, and by extension the Horde and Kevin, is an extremely complex antagonist.
A Quiet Death
Dr Fletcher's death scene in Split is critical to understanding the Beast, and plays a key role in setting him up as not only a formidable villain for the film's climax and the next instalment but also in laying bare his motives and both answering and raising questions about his psychology and origins. Leaving him ripe for further exploration in Glass.
The Beast does not brutally kill Fletcher; indeed, Shyamalan describes it as a "quiet" death. Kevin's 23rd personality — born partially out of the zoo animals Kevin works in close proximity to — reserves his more gruesome method of killing, eating alive, for the "impure". It's as if in eating their flesh, he's processing their impurities through his "pure" body; aka a body that has suffered. Fletcher isn't deemed impure and is therefore not worthy, or in need of, consumption. But her death is still necessary because her usefulness has expired, she's expressed a lack of belief in his vision, and she now stands in the Beast's way. He's nothing if not single-minded. His snake-like constriction method of murder is, by contrast, efficient and bloodless. The Beast is a character that kills out of necessity, according to the skewed logic of a (super)villain.
When he strikes again in the same way in Glass for the first time, it’s against David Dunn, and it’s interesting to compare the two scenes. The Split scene serves to show us the helplessness of his victim, and the ease and relative effortlessness of the dispatch, while the scene in Glass — which the trailer gives a glimpse of — is a different kettle of fish. The indestructible Dunn finds it difficult to escape the Beast’s strong grip — he’s really, really strong — but is far from helpless in the situation. Hence, we’re given an insight into the match the Beast has met in Dunn, who in Glass is given the superhero moniker, the Overseer. And if we’re in any doubt as to the Beast’s brute strength and the extent of his animalistic characteristics, they’re underscored once more towards the end of the film when he uses the same technique again to kill another non-super character. Shyamalan discusses the Beast versus David Dunn scene in the video above.
Building Up to the Reveal
Up to the point in the film where Dr Fletcher’s death scene occurs, we've only been able to piece together information about the Beast from snippets offered by the other personalities. Most recently, as we go into the kill scene, we've learned from Dennis that "the Beast is a sentient creature who represents the highest form of humans' evolution; he believes the time of ordinary humanity is over." Dennis disconcertingly tells Casey: "I hope this makes you feel calm; you will be in the presence of something greater," as he prepares her for her imminent death.
The Beast has been an invisible but tangible menace looming since the start, as Shyamalan has expertly ratcheted up the tension, and shaped our expectations. By the time the Beast eventually appears here, Shyamalan has crafted such a fearsome picture of him that we're itching — and simultaneously disinclined — to see him fulfill it.
Shyamalan deftly employs parallel editing to build the tension to almost unbearable limits ahead of the Beast's reveal, marking the eventual unveiling as pretty darn important. We witness the Beast's emergence in a preceding sequence through the half-light on board an empty train — MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT — and it's a nod towards the revelation in Glass that Kevin's father was killed in the train crash orchestrated by Mr Glass that David Dunn walked away from unscathed in Unbreakable.
John Carpenter Tactics
As the scene starts, Dr Fletcher, occupying most of the frame, scrawls a note in the foreground — the contents of which we can't see — leaving space to her left and right that's aching to be filled. It's classic John Carpenter framing (see the Halloween clip above), and the blurred figure of the Beast bounds into the room screen left and exits the frame as quickly as he appears, screen right. Fletcher looks over her right shoulder, but he's already gone.
It cuts to the out-of-focus, Beast-eye-view shot that Shyamalan mentions in his scene breakdown. The director is conveying the character’s animalistic qualities here and suggests he's hunting her. As the camera switches to Fletcher's point of view, Shyamalan aligns the two characters, in showing her vision as blurred too, as she struggles to shake off the effects of the drug. But while they might currently see the same way, the Beast's senses and instincts are sharpened; Fletcher's deadened. She still has a survival instinct, of course, and the fight in her to both pick up the fruit knife on the table and ultimately use it against him.
As she staggers, seemingly obliviously, closer to him, she comes into focus, his vision adjusts as his prey stands in front of him; his senses at peak alertness. Fletcher's face conveys fear, abject terror even, as she realises what she's up against. We still haven't seen the Beast properly yet, but we already identify with her horror. Her reaction prepares us for the reveal — which comes in the very next shot, a close-up on his torso and lower half of his face. He's dehumanised in this instant; the pulsating veins of a human, yet somehow also inhuman, predator are all we take in. Tonight is the night that he and the Horde have been building towards, when he will consume his prey — the three girls — and he's ready to strike. Starting with Dr Fletcher.
He exhales/growls heavily before saying in a deep, beastly voice: "Thank you, for helping us till now."
Avoiding the Supernatural
For Shyamalan, this moment is meant to be grounded. The director wanted to avoid the idea that anything supernatural is happening here, as might be the case in standard superhero fare, and he succeeds. By keeping the focus on Dr Fletcher — specifically her face — and using "inserts" to depict her "quiet" yet harrowing death sequence, we empathise with her completely. There's real horror in this scene, not supernatural escapism.
"He perceives himself as an angel to some extent — an angel of death," says Shyamalan of the Beast. "And so he's quietly wrapping his arms around her and she's trying to stab him, and stab him, and it's not working … he believes that he's part anaconda, part snake, and he just starts squeezing."
As the camera goes back to Dr Fletcher's face, which conceals his, for one last time, we see her facial muscles twitch before her mouth drops open and her body falls to the floor. He's finally let go at the point the life is literally squeezed out of her. And we see his face for the first time.
If the eyes are the window to the soul, we've just switched from seeing deep into Dr Fletcher's and feeling every one of those emotions she goes through during her ordeal to the cold, emotionless, fixed gaze of the Beast, and a soul lacking in standard human emotions. How did he get to this point? How did this beastly personality come into being; into the light? It’s a question that is answered in full in Glass.
Empathy Not Voyeurism
Interestingly, there's another parallel with Psycho at this moment. "You just see her go quiet and then the audience hopefully goes: 'Did you just kill the main character?'" says Shyamalan. Just like audiences did when Marion Crane bit the bullet (knife?) in Hitchcock's masterpiece.
For Shyamalan, the scene was meant to slip the audience firmly into Fletcher's shoes, rather than — as is typical of slasher movies — encourage us to watch the death voyeuristically.
"Being at the very moment of your death — what does it feel like? Shooting a scene from your own perspective of 'What does it feel like to die and what's happening to me?'" explains Shyamalan of his approach to the sequence. "As she feels the arms going around her, and [she's thinking] it's not possible he's this strong, and all of those emotions [she's feeling alongside that], and then realising: 'This is the end'. And it's coming in fragments, jagged fragments."
It's interesting to note that the physical description of the Beast we're given in Split by Dennis differs from the version we actually go on to see. Which leads us to question Dennis's reliability as well as consider the possibility that the Beast is able to shapeshift.
"He's much bigger than I am and I'm the biggest of all of us," says Dennis. "He's tall, he's very muscular, he's got a long mane of hair and his fingers are twice the length of ours."
A dramatic difference in size isn't discernible, although James McAvoy, of course, transforms himself to denote the new personality. He's certainly very muscular — but the long mane of hair and double-length fingers are clearly not present.
Glass presented an opportunity to explore this, which it didn't take. But what the film does do is to take his innate animalistic qualities further — something that Split left us wanting more of. We see the Beast openly bounding like a big cat in Glass, and using his anaconda death grip on both David Dunn and the hospital orderly.
Glass also tantalisingly reveals more about Kevin, the Beast and the other alternate personalities — but the film’s frustrating ending suggests audiences may have seen the last of Shyamalan's creation. As what is surely one of the 21st century's greatest on-screen antagonists, we sincerely hope not.
Glass hits screens on January 18.
The post Slice and Dice: Breaking Down the Beast's First Kill in ‘Split’ appeared first on FANDOM.
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