Quick lesson – multiple personality disorders are not the same as schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder where patients exhibit abnormal social behavior and fail to understand what is real and what is not. You can hear voices when you’re schizophrenic. Multiple personality disorders (MPD) are exactly what you think it is – different personalities within the same person.

MPD movies resonate with us simply because each person has different facets to their character. In front of our boss, we’re meek and obedient minions. In front of our friends, we’re annoying clowns who thrive on fart jokes. In front of our significant others, we reveal deep dark inclinations that cannot be described in PG-13 article (which this is).

So here are some of the best ones we’ve seen. To borrow a phrase from horrible clickbait sites, you’re going to be “pretty surprised” at #4.

1. Fight Club

I’m going to break the first rule of Fight Club here by talking about it, but it’s got to be one of the biggest twists in cinema history after The Sixth Sense. Nope, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) isn’t a ghost, although that would have made an interesting twist. It’s the fact that after the reveal, you think back about how odd it must have been to see Edward Norton’s character fighting with himself. The climax was also particularly spectacular and painful, and a good twist on the usual climaxes of multiple personality disorder films (as Superman III did).

2. Superman III

Superman III was classic for having Superman battle himself. Well, in a rather convoluted series of events, Superman is turned evil by badly synthesised Kryptonite, and he splits into two as a result of it – the “evil” Superman and the “good” Clark Kent. After a pitched battle, his good side (Clark Kent) wins and that somehow neutralises the effect of the pirated Kryptonite.

It was an interesting character study of Clark Kent at that time, and reinforced the fact that Clark is the true, valid personality, while Superman is just a mask that he puts on to use his powers.

3. Me, Myself & Irene

The clever use of & in the title of Me, Myself & Irene negated any debate about the necessity of an Oxford comma after the word “Myself”, but it really showed us that Jim Carrey could act. We would see him fully reveal his acting ability in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but Me, Myself & Irene was a clever use of Carrey’s acting chops and rubber face.

Bonus – you get to catch a young Renee Zellweger in action too!

4. The Lego Movie

How is The Lego Movie about multiple personalities? Well, if you remember Good Cop/Bad Cop with his rotating face, then you’ll realise that he’s actually suffering from a dissociative personality disorder. Also, it’s a reference to how Lego minifigures sometimes have two different facial expressions on opposite sides of their head. It was a cute way of representing that, and because of its success, we have The Lego Batman Movie coming up!

5. Identity

Identity was amazing because it showed you all the different personalities of one single character, John Cusack’s Malcolm Rivers, interacting in a motel – with horrible consequences, since one of those personalities was a murderer. The murderous personality went on to destroy all the other personalities, before finally taking control of Malcolm Rivers’ body.

It was an intense movie because just as you thought you knew what was going on, the film would spring a new gamechanger on you.

6. Split

Split, directed by M Night Shyamalan, sees James McAvoy taking on the role of the kidnapper Kevin – who has 24 split personalities within him. The problem is, as the trailer so aptly shows us, that Kevin will also undergo biological changes with each of his personalities. And his worst personality, the Beast, is coming for the three girls he has kidnapped…

Split. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Split. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

So how do the girls escape? Do they even manage to escape the clutches of Kevin? Will it be revealed that one of his other 23 personalities is actually the Beast?

Catch Split to find out.


Credit: Golden Village Cinemas