20 January 2017 (USA)
M. Night Shyamalan
James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson
Motion picture rating:
Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic content and behavior, violence and some language
Split is a psychological horror thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film stars James McAvoy who is widely known for his role as Professor X in the X-men Movies. The movie also stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Betty Buckley. Betty Buckley starred from 1977-1981 on the ABC series Eight is Enough before going on to win the 1983 Tony Award for best featured actress as Grizabella in the original Broadway production of Cats. Anya Taylor-Joy had her major breakthrough leading the performance in Robert Eggers critically acclaimed horror film The Witch (2015). She also starred in Barry, which talked about Barack Obama’s life.
Split began filming back on November 11, 2015 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The film premiered at Fantastic Fest, which is an annual film festival in Austin Texas, on September 26, 2016. Later it was released in the United States on January 20, 2017 by Universal Pictures. They had the cast, and we had the director, but what about the movie? Did the trailers show us what this movie was really about? Or were we mislead?
Before I actually talk about this fantastic movie, I am going to go on a little rant. For people that said how this movie is trans-phobic, how this movie makes fun of people with Multiple personality disorder, all I can say is you are idiots. Just because James McAvoy is in a dress in one scene that is trans-phobic? What about when Bug’s Bunny dresses up as a woman in practically every episode to elude Elmer Fudd (Thank you to Rob Dyke for coming up with that comparison) Why isn’t he called out for dressing up as a woman? I mean come on everybody this movie has nothing to do with making fun of people, if anything M. Night Shyamalan actually brought to light Multiple personality disorder, even though a lot of people already knew about it, but he showed us how it actually affects some people.
James McAvoy plays a variety of characters. Dennis who has Obsessive compulsive disorder, Patricia who is like the caring mother personality, Hedwig who was the 9 year old personality, Barry who was the fashion designer, and than Kevin who was the actual person that was diagnosed with Multiple personality disorder. Don’t get me wrong, as the movie goes by you will be able to tell who McAvoy is playing. Kevin actually had a total of 23 different personalities, but they mainly showed the ones who I described in my previous sentence.
Through the movie we see the characters come into the light and speak about a beast that is going to consume the 3 girls that he kidnapped. I don’t want to spoil anything at all, so I am going to try and keep this a brief as I can. As I said, Dennis kidnapped 3 girls and keeps them locked away. He shows them all of his different personalities as time goes by. Dennis tries to get one of the girls to dance with him naked, and than in the next scene we have Patricia come into the light, James McAvoy is in a dress, and tell the 3 girls that she talked to Dennis and he will not hurt them or touch them.
With Kevin having 23 personalities, he goes to see Dr. Fletcher, who is played by Betty Buckle. Barry, actually speaks to Dr. Fletcher and keeps telling her about all of these fashion designs. The only problem is that one of his other personalities keeps e-mailing Dr. Fletcher saying that it is urgent. One of Kevin’s other personalities was trying to reach out to Dr. Fletcher to tell her about the horrific incident that Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig are about to commit. The only problem is, when Dr. Fletcher brings it up to Barry, he keeps saying that he was just having a bad day and needed to just speak with her.
I know this all sounds confusing, but when you see the movie I can assure you everything will make itself clear.
Good & Bad
Now usually this is where we are supposed to split the good and the bad, but in my opinion this movie had more good than bad. The good would have to be the marvelous acting by James McAvoy.
“I would have given him an Oscar for best actor as soon as they were done filming the movie.”
The way he embodied all 23 personalities was just done very well. I think that M. Nigh Shyamalan made such a great choice choosing McAvoy. The one thing that I could nit-pick was the ending. I mean I don’t want to spoil the ending for anybody, but we always know how it ends, the villain either escapes or dies and the main character in the movie gets away. Why does it always end like that? Now I know I said that I wasn’t going to spoil the ending so if you do not want to know what happens please DO NOT READ THIS NEXT PARAGRAPH.
The ending of the movie shows Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) running away from the 24th personality known as “The Beast.” Now I know I only said that there were 23 personalities, but spoiler alert, there isn’t. Casey locks herself in a jail cell and when The Beast catches up to her, he lets her go because he sees that Casey cuts herself due to a sexually abusive uncle. The Beast sees that she is pure of heart so decides not to eat her and lets her go. Now the movie should’ve ended with him killing Casey instead of letting her go. The audience of course was expecting her to be left alive, but just imagine if The Beast killed her like he killed the 2 other girls. The ending would have left us speechless, hell I would’ve e-mailed M. Night Shyamalan and told him that I forgive him for making The Last Airbender (I know pretty lame joke).
I had my doubts going into this movie, but I am glad that I watched this movie. M. Night Shyamalan is coming back and he is coming back in a great way. If you want to start the new year right, I suggest watching this movie. You will be left on the edge of your seat and I promise you, Split is one of the best movies I have seen so far. Thank you for reading this review and I hope you have a great day.
- Marvelous acting by James McAvoy (multiple personalities)
- Unexpected twist in last scene
- You will be left on the edge of your seat, I promise you
- The ending scene is a hit or miss