From Psycho to Shutter Island the murderous split personality has long-been a staple of dark thrillers and horror cinema. Now director David Raymond’s puts a new twist on the tried and tested multiple personality murderer formula with his darkly stylish crime thriller Night Hunter.
On the hunt for an elusive serial rapist and murderer, battle-hardened cop Marshall (Henry Cavill) crosses paths with vigilante duo Cooper (Ben Kingsley) and Lara (Eliana Jones) as they trap online predators and deliver their own extreme methods of justice. When Lara is kidnapped, Marshall, Cooper and the police hunt down the perpetrator but the psychologically damaged man they capture only deepens the mystery surrounding the killings. Good-cop Rachel (Alexandra Daddario) believes the captured killer, who is linked to years of female abductions and murders, is harboring multiple personalities, one of which may hold answers….
Combining the tense, psychological investigation of killer classics such as Silence of the Lambs and Zodiac with fast-paced twists, turns and edge-of- your-seat action, Night Hunter is one of 2019’s darkest and most daring thrillers.
So join us as well take a look back at some of the best multiple personality murderers on screen… warning spoilers ahead!
One of the most influential films of all time, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror classic Psycho set the mold for the modern twist ending as well as inspiring countless horror and thriller movies from the 1960s up until the present day. In the film Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) travels to the Bates Motel but is soon violently dispatched in the film’s iconic shower scene, apparently by hotel owner Norman’s possessive elderly mother. Later we learn that Mrs Bates is in fact now just a gnarled corpse – the big twist being that Norman had killed his mother years earlier and started assuming her identity. Anthony Perkins played the titular psychopathic inhabitant of the Bates Motel, who possesses a desire for murdering young women dressed as mom, reprising the role in the less-popular sequel Psycho II. Although a huge departure from his previous film North by Northwest, Psycho netted Hitchcock four Academy Award nominations including Best Director. For a tense and disturbing descent into madness look no further than Hitchcock’s horror masterpiece!
FIGHT CLUB (1999)
One of the most controversial and discussed movies of the 1990s’ David Fincher’s Fight Club has maintained its reputation 20 years later as a violent and divisive slice of modern cult cinema. Edward Norton stars as an unnamed narrator who meets soap-salesmen Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) on a business trip. Unhappy with his life, the narrator soon joins an underground fight club where members meet-up for bare-knuckle combat. As the narrator is drawn deeper into the shady underground he becomes involved in anti-corporate vigilante group Project Mayhem, which soon spirals into an uncontrollable wave of violence. Where is My Mind? by the Pixies plays over the final scene as the city is razed to the ground after Durden’s identity as the narrator’s split personality is revealed. It’s a powerful and dramatic moment that rounds off this dark and thrilling career-high from David Fincher.
In 2003 Walk the Line and Logan director James Mangold made the fun psychological horror Identity starring John Cusack and Ray Liotta. Although not a straight adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie whodunit And Then There Were None the film borrows heavily from the book. Ten guests find themselves stranded at a roadside motel where they begin to be picked off by a mysterious killer. With lots of great kills the film verges heavily into slasher territory before it’s shocking finale in which the guests are revealed to be multiple personalities of the same troubled mind. With an interesting ‘reverse chronology’ structure, plenty of bloodshed and some solid direction from Mangold, Identity is a fun and thriller psychological thriller with plenty of twists and turns.
SHUTTER ISLAND (2010)
Martin Scorsese has had a long and varied filmmaking career, encompassing everything from his adaptation of Edith Wharton’s romantic classic The Age of Innocence to gangster masterpieces Goodfellas and Casino. With Shutter Island the legendary director veered into psychological thriller territory crafting a dark and creepy film alongside regular collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio plays US Marshall Teddy Daniels, who travels to an island housing the Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Spoiler alert: it turns out Leo was the killer all along and he’s created the identity to come to terms with a terrible crime he has committed. Shutter Island is based on Dennis LeHane’s novel of the same name, which, with its gothic settings and noir-inspired plot proved to be the perfect concoction for a pulpy Scorcese thriller. This is one island we wouldn’t recommend for a holiday!
M. Night Shyamalan is a director known for his twist endings, shocking audiences with ‘the big reveal’ in hits like The Sixth Sense, The Village and The Visit. As a director full of surprises he unveiled what is most likely Hollywood’s first ever stealth sequel with Split, the follow-up to his acclaimed superhero movie Unbreakable from 2000. In Split James McAvoy plays a man with 24 dangerous and idiosyncratic personalities who kidnaps and imprisons three young girls. His split personality is something which eventually earns him the nickname The Horde. James McAvoy puts in an acting masterclass as he gives each of these characters some screen time. For fans of twisty, turny thrillers from a master of the craft Split is certainly worth hunting down.