Interesting movies have interesting characters. Characters become interesting when they have a certain amount of reality mixed with absurdity. When dealing with scientific themes like multiple personality disorder, the main differentiator lies in the director’s ability to dive deep into the psychosis of the source material, rather than just touching the surface. Conversely, good directors work with scientific themes and psychological elements and imbibe them into the narrative structure, creating a concoction of a psychologically rich story that simultaneously educates and entertains. Here’s a roundup of some of the best movies about multiple personality disorder, ranked.
8 Manichitrathazhu (1993)
Directed by legendary Indian author Fazil, Manichitrathazhu combines the narrative structure of a psychological horror thriller, but also adds elements of humor to balance the dark themes in the story. The plot revolves around a young couple, Ganga and Nakulan, who arrive at Nakul’s family home for a festival. Nakulan is asked by his relatives not to stay in the property as it is considered haunted, but Nakulan pays no heed to them and decides to move in with Ganga. Once the couple moves in, strange things start happening, a sound of ankle bracelets, lights flashing randomly, sounds of someone laughing. It is only towards the climax that these strange events are revealed to be caused by one of the family members who has an identity disorder.
7 The Mask (1994)
If Manichitrathazhu was then dark The mask is on the other side of the spectrum in terms of lightness. The now-iconic film stars Jim Carrey as Stanley, a docile bank employee who transforms into an eccentric, absurd, and wacky green-skinned superhero after encountering a wooden mask crafted by the Norse god of mischief, Loki. A hilarious contrast between two personality types, the movie is a hilarious riot.
6 Split (2016)
Divide is directed by one of horror’s most prolific poster boys, M. Night Shyamalan (Signs, the village, the sixth sense). The film portrays James McAvoy as a kidnapper named Kevin, who juggles about two dozen different personalities within one body, from a Brit named Patricia to a New York fashionista. Divide manages to terrify the viewer thanks to Mcavoy’s multi-faceted approach to the various characters he portrays. Shyamalan masterfully makes us eerily despise Kevin for his overall menacing nature in his various personalities, while also managing to maintain a degree of empathy, which highlights Kevin’s youth and what made him transform into who he is.
5 The Machinist (2004)
This bizarrely disturbing film stars Christian Bale as Trevor, an insomniac train driver who hasn’t been able to get a good night’s sleep since he was responsible for a freak accident that left his colleague with an arm. . This incident turns Trevor’s life upside down, sending his world into a dark spiral. Trevor can’t let go of the memories of the past and occasionally sees an unknown colleague named Ivan turn up. Towards the end of the film, it is revealed that Ivan was a figment of Trevor’s imagination, a sort of manifestation of himself before the freak accident.
4 Fight Club (1999)
In David Fincher’s cult classic, Edward Norton plays the role of a downed business drone of a human. Dissatisfied with life and his job, despite the material comforts it offers him, the narrator mainly suffers from insomnia and constant clashes with his boss at work. This changes when he bumps into Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a smooth, beer-guzzling dude with a devil-may-care attitude. Soon Durden takes the narrator under his wing and highlights the various flaws of a capitalist society. Subsequently, the duo start a fight club together, the purpose of which is to viscerally beat each other’s flesh apart in an attempt to relieve some stress. In the film’s climax, Fincher beautifully orchestrates the fact that Tyler Durden and the narrator are essentially the same person.
3 Shutter Island (2010)
Shutter Island revolves around Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his descent into madness as he investigates the disappearance of a patient at Shutter Island’s mysterious psychiatric hospital. As the film progresses, Daniels unravels the dark layers of the hospital, but conversely, some facts about Daniel’s mental state also surface.
2 The Radiant (1980)
Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, The shining tells the story of Jack Torrance, a writer, who takes on the job of off-season concierge of a remote hotel during the high season. As Jack and his wife and son spend time in the huge and empty hotel, Jack begins to lose his mind. His mood changes from eerie to downright crazy towards the end of the film, where he chases his wife and young son with an axe.
1 Psycho (1960)
from Hitchcock Psycho is one of the scariest movies ever released. In the film, Hitchcock almost plays with the viewers, gradually letting the tension unravel, increasing the tension. The plot revolves around a mother-son duo named Norma and Norman respectively. The duo run a motel which comes under scrutiny by a detective as a missing girl from the hotel goes missing. As the story unfolds, Norman’s intentions emerge and towards the end it is revealed that Norman’s mother, Norma, is dead, and it is Norman who suffers from personality issues and assumes her identity to deal with complex emotions involving other people.