Charles O'keefe
AUTHOR OF THE NEWFOUNDLAND VAMPIRE SERIES

Details from IMDB:

Split (2016)

PG-13 | | Horror, Thriller | 20 January 2017 (USA)
7.5/10

31,350

Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, and must try and escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.

Director:

M. Night Shyamalan

Years ago it was something to look forward to, a new M. Night movie. There was a string of them that were really good/excellent including The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs and The Village (which a lot of people didn’t like but I did). Then came Lady in the Water (which I had the misfortune of seeing) and The Happening (which I was smarter about, waited for reviews and skipped). So I forgot about M. Night, he did some more crappy movies and time passed. Then came this one, I read the reviews, saw it was number 1 three weeks in a row and decided it was time to give him a second chance, I’m glad I did.

Main Points:

As he is still doing the twists (and I wait to talk about them) I’ll add

SPOILER ALERT!

So James McAvoy does an excellent job here playing so many different characters (as Kevin Wendell Crumb has 24 different personalities, though we don’t see all of them.) Anyone who can play 9 different characters (and can switch back and forth so quickly at times) is a talented actor. Moving on though, excellent story, it seems simple but gets more complex as the movie progresses. One of the kidnapped girls has own well developed backstory (and it’s a dark one with death and abuse) and she is ultimately the only one who lives (I said spoiler alert for a reason! 🙂

You can tell when I really enjoy a movie I want to talk about the plot. Even though the movie eventually veers off into the supernatural, for most of it the way his split personalty disorder is explained (and how it manifests) is very believable and fascinating to watch. I enjoyed how the drama that is unfolding in Kevin’s rooms with the victims is split with his visits to his psychiatrist (couldn’t resist!), until his final personality emerges and everything changes.

The movie has it’s flaw, the girls all had cell phones and yet we never see what happens to the phones. With GPS tracking and programs/websites like FindMyiPhone, I think this should have at least been addressed by the family/cops/friends. There is also the fact that early on one of the girls suggests that they all jump him and beat the crap out of him, I agreed this could work and was worth a try early on, but the idea is shut down and then attempted by two of them separately to no avail.

Oh and I checked and the sprayable sleep spray? Well it may not you out it could take 20 minutes to work and with an overdose it could kill you, but this is something done frequently wrong in movies and is easy to overlook. On with the plot. So when the beast does emerge it’s really cool (and creepy!). We have the first big twist as when he come to kill the final kidnap victim he sees all her scars (she was cutting herself due to sexual abuse by her uncle) and being a victim of abuse himself decides not to kill her.

Then the final BIG twist is that it turns out this movie and Unbreakable (which is his M. Night’s best movie I think) are connected! Bruce Willis’ character David Dunn shows up at the end and speaks about Mr. Glass (his villain). The hint being he clearly must hunt down The Horde (which is what Kevin is now calling himself). As The Horde escape and is mostly unharmed, I can only hope M. Night keeps his promise to make Unbreakable 2/Split 2 (or whatever he decides to call it).

Final Thoughts:

I’m all about second chances. M. Night is back on top and I’ll certainly check out his next movie (unless it get’s terrible reviews, I do that for any movie these days.) I give this a solid 8/10, check it out for McAvoy’s excellent acting and a really good story. Please don’t bring children, the movie is only rated PG-13 but I would say ages 17+, the child abuse parts (and cannibal parts) in particular are very disturbing. So yes I give it a strong recommendation, until next time folks!