FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #97 – “Split” (dir. M. Night Shyamalan)

Poster for "Split"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel (plus special out-of-town guest Tex) see if M. Night Shyamalan still has the ability to twist a film into something likable. The answer – especially after we disliked The Visit so much – may surprise you (39:24)!

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 7 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is the track “Frogbass” by Snails, from the film’s soundtrack. Incidentally, this appears during a scene where we were promised that McAvoy would dance to Kanye, but I’m betting he was too expensive for a Blumhouse picture.
  • Speaking of, this film’s budget was $10 million, which is on the high end for Blumhouse Productions, matching the likes of Insidious: Chapter 3, Sinister 2, and The Purge: Election Year.
  • Michael Gioulakis was also responsible for the outstanding widescreen cinematography on Glenn’s #1 film of 2015, It Follows.
  • Check out the great work done by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and if you’re able, think about donating!

Listen above, or download: Split (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

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FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #78 – “The Visit” (dir. M. Night Shyamalan)

Poster for "The Visit"

This week on the podcast, Glenn and Daniel reflect on another mediocre genre thriller. That’s three times in a row I’ve used that first sentence. M. Night Shyamalan‘s The Visit may be regarded as a return to form for the director, but the “found footage” form is one that systematically works against his previous strengths. (25:16).

May contain NSFW language.

FilmWonk rating: 4 out of 10

Show notes:

  • Music for tonight’s episode is “Everyday” by Buddy Holly, a cover version of which appears in the film’s trailer.
  • Regarding The Happening, the insect-suicide inducing parasite that we referred to was actually a confusion of two different ones. The first is a fungus called Dicrocoelium dendriticum, which triggers an ant (by way of vomit from a land snail!) to crawl up to the top of a stalk of grass at night, in order for it to be eaten by a cow. The other is Schistocephalus solidus which is even more sinister – this one triggers a stickleback fish to seek out warmer waters so it will grow bigger, then become bolder and more solitary so it will be eaten by a sea-bird. io9 has a good round-up of these and ten other parasites that effectively zombify their hosts. Sweet dreams!

Listen above, or download: The Visit (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)