I always have such high hopes for M. Night Shyamalan and he always seems to disappoint. Why do I bother?
Split, as you can tell is M. Night’s newest film starring James McAvoy (really the only good thing about this movie). James plays 23 separate characters, but we only meet a handful of them including Dennis (an OCD ‘hard’ man who believes in ‘the beast’), Patricia (a more mothering type of character), Hedwig (a nine year old who’s a bit dim), and Kevin (the normal one I guess you could say). All these different characters are all inside Kevin’s head (apart from Kevin himself, of course). Kevin has split personality disorder and each of these characters can take charge over Kevin and he doesn’t remember a thing.
The movie starts with a high school birthday party where three girls leave together. Kevin, as Dennis, kidnaps the three girls and puts them into a basement room where they must stay until they can be sacrificed to ‘the beast’. They meet the different people inside Kevin’s head and even try and coax Hedwig, the nine year old, into helping them escape. Sadly none of their plans work and it’s a race against time to try and escape the beast before they are his sacrifices.
Alongside this there is a doctor, Dr Karen Fletcher who sees patients with the disorder. When she meets with Kevin and his personalities she meets Barry, a fashion designer. But soon she realises he is really Dennis and all she knows of him is his dark, twisted ways. She’s kind of a filler character with not much backstory and really only adds a bit of context to all of Kevin’s personalities.
So the main point is James McAvoy and his amazing acting, especially in scenes where he has to switch from one personality to another in the same frame. He is an incredibly versatile actor and this movie just proves that. I hope to see more of him in the future (and not just in X Men).
The rest of the movie however? It was a bit underwhelming. The story was good enough to watch but it wasn’t memorable or that interesting. The backstory of some of the characters is interesting and adds context to how and why they do what they do but a lot of it seemed like filler. It dragged in parts, it was quite repetitive and the ending was very boring. There was no real twist in this movie, which is something Shyamalan is known for. They did try to connect this movie to another of Shyamalan’s but it seems kind of thrown in at the last minute for some half-arsed reveal.
I’d say give this movie a miss. It’s described as a horror movie but there’s nothing really scary about it. It’s a bit unnerving but that’s about it. I feel like Shymalan fell short with this one and maybe he needs to go back to the drawing board. His older movies, i.e. The Sixth Sense was so good it makes no sense how he has gone downhill so fast.
What do you think of Split?
Until next time.