Split — Movie Review

The verdict is in folks, M. Night Shyamalan is back!


Wow! It’s been sometime since I’ve sat in the theatre to watch a Shyamalan movie. Remember this is the guy who came out swinging with Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs. The same guy who was regarded by many to be the next Spielberg. Then M. Night. Shyamalan fell off a climb and died on impact, you know that old chestnut. Stinker after stinker, no one took this guy seriously anymore. He turned out The Visit last year and it got people talking that he might mount a comeback, and now with the release of Split. Oh sweet baby Jesus it’s true! So congrats Shyamalan, film junkies everywhere will be rejoicing around the world that we could be getting one great Shyamalan movie a year!

This is a safe place, no spoilers here! If you are serious about seeing this movie I would recommend you seeing it before the ending gets spoiled for you.

Split is a psychological thriller about a man named Kevin (played by James McAvoy) who is suffering from dissociative identity disorder, who kidnaps three girls after a birthday party and holds them captive. Ultimately Kevin is someone who lives with 23 different personalities inside his head, all vastly different from one another. Upon waking up, the girls don’t know why they have been taken or what is going to happen to them. Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), Marcia (Jessica Sula) and Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) are three classmates, but Casey is the outsider of the group, being known as a social outcast who tends to get a lot of detention and often runs away from home. Casey herself is a complex character and as you peel back the layers of who she is (through really affective flashbacks throughout the movie) the audience gets a much better understanding of why she is so calm and collected in such a scary and tense situation. Anya Taylor-Joy, who people may recognize from The Witch, that came out earlier this year is great in this movie. There was so much to discover about her character, and why the way she is and I thought she did an awesome job portraying that in the film. Betty Buckley plays Kevin’s psychologist Dr. Karen Fletcher, and she plays an interesting role, as her character is trying to get an idea of all these different personalities. She tries to connect differently with each one, seeing how each one is unique in its own way. She’s trying to dissect the human brain as you will, by learning how one man can have 23 different personalities inside his head, and trying to understand how they all work together and more importantly try to find a cure for Kevin. The movie shifts when one of Kevin’s personalities starts telling Dr. Fletcher about the apparent 24 personality known as “The Beast”.

Lets stop for a second and talk about James McAvoy here, because it’s his movie. One of the main reasons I was so interested in going to see this movie was I wanted to see how he was going to tackle this role. He’s one of the most underrated actors working today. The amount of time he must have put into this role, seeing how each one of the different personalities you get to meet in the movie has a different accent, mannerisms, and vocal patterns. Some are even women, or little kids and he thrusts himself into this role 100 percent. Without question his best role, and I think if this movie were to be released in 2016, he could have possibly got a best actor nomination. If you have watched the trailer then you get a little sense of the character that he plays in the movie, but once you start to watch this all unfold, he steals every scene he is in. Having conversations with himself, but as two or more people was incredible to watch and I was just so impressed by his performance that it was kind of hard not to feel for this guy throughout the movie. I just can’t say enough about how good McAvoy is in Split; I don’t think many actors could play this character. It’s a very courageous performance by McAvoy and I just hope he gets the credit and recognition he deserves.

I was super impressed with the camera work and the Cinematography in this movie seeing how it’s about being held captive. It was really tightly shot, which gave you that claustrophobic feel to it and it was really affective throughout the entire movie. This is one of Shyamalan’s best looking movies, and that’s saying something seeing how it really only takes place in a basement and a doctor’s office really, but it works.

There will be certain things along the way that people may question, but this is a Shyamalan movie, and you just have to be patient and in the end it all ties in beautifully together and I was so happy with the ending of this movie. My mind was actually blown and I immediately wanted more and wanted to know what he has in store for us next. He really leaves it all out there and that’s a super gutsy thing to do, but it worked so well and it made everything make so much sense in the end, that it made up for some things earlier in the movie that you might question. So like I mentioned earlier in the review, if you are serious about seeing Split, go NOW before the ending is ruined and that would be a shame. This is a great thriller and Shyamalan’s best movie since Unbreakable, at least for me. I really wish I could talk about the ending more here, but that wouldn’t be fair to the reader, because it really is the best part about the movie. Go see Split, it’s a great thriller and McAvoy’s performance alone is worth the price of admission.

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews — Split = 90/100

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