Split is a horror thriller directed by M. Night Shyamalan and stars Anya Taylor-Joy (Casey) and James McAvoy (Kevin) about a man with 23 different personalities living inside of him and one of them has kidnapped three teenage girls in his basement, leaving them with a few days to escape before Kevin decides he’s done with them.
First Thing’s First
With this being yet another Shyamalan movie, we all wanted to know: Is this movie any good? Or is this another trainwreck like The Happening? I have nothing against Shyamalan. I LOVED The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable and going in i was really hoping this movie to be good. There was a time in the late 90s and early 2000s where he was touted as the next Spielberg and the Director to look out for. Something went wrong halfway i guess and his recent movies weren’t as good as expected. He seems like a nice guy and i think we just want him to start making good movies again.
So…How’s The Movie?
This movie is good. I am SO GLAD i get to say that! The Visit was alright but this. THIS is Shyamalan’s comeback movie and a return to form. It proofs that when it’s a small scale movie and not a big budgeted summer blockbuster Shyamalan does it so well. The movie really makes you want to know how everything turns out and whether the three girls make it out alive. Yeah it’s a Shyamalan movie so you know it may feel like a slow burn but as evident in his movies (The good ones at least) it will definitely pay off by the third act. It’s also a Shyamalan movie if you care about the main characters but the side characters are just bleh.
I have to say, James McAvoy, he gives everything in his role here. He plays a character with multiple personalities and he does it SO well. I’m not even kidding he went all out with this role (roles? haha) and was SO good in it. Whenever the movie felt like it might be going the snore route he grips you and pulls you back in with his scenes. They were ranging from funny when he played a child (named Hedwig), to downright terrifying (when he played Dennis).
And this movie can be scary at times. Like when Anya Taylor-joy, who by the way, excellent performance from her too, was running away from Dennis, i was actually afraid for her. And i’m not one to be easily scared by modern horror movies. The setting and cinematography did elevate the claustrophobic and sense of dread with the tightly shot hallways and dimly lit scenes.
Yes there is a twist
Throughout the movie i was looking for clues as to what the twist might be, because you know, it’s a Shyamalan movie. For a while i actually thought i had it figured out and knew what the hell was going on but when it was revealed i went, “ahhh now it makes sense!” and i went out of the movie hall smiling to myself because Shyamalan succeeded in giving us a twist that no one saw coming and it’s a big deal considering he hasn’t been able to pull one off since The Sixth Sense, and the movie got twice as better once you figure out what it meant.
All in all, Split is a great movie and a great comeback for M Night Shyamalan. Definitely gets a recommendation from me. I give this movie a “You’re forgiven for making The Last Airbender” / 10 .
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SPOILERS! DON’T READ ON IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCH THE MOVIE
Let’s talk about the ending. Obviously we’re going into spoiler territory so unless you haven’t watched it do read on. Go watch the movie! It’s worth your time!
Okay so it was revealed that James McAvoy has a 24th personality who surfaced in the final act known as The Beast, who seems indestructible, fast and agile, cannibalistic even and is shown to still be alive near the end after taking two friggin shots of the shotgun to his body. Then the screen cuts to black with only the movie title and “you’re like, what the heck, that’s it? Movie’s gonna end just like that?”.
I felt the same way until a final scene appeared where it looked like it was taking place in a diner and we see Bruce Willis right before the credits roll. I know a lot of people in the theatre with me didn’t know what it meant but i got it. And i was overjoyed by this revelation. You see, the real twist is that this movie is a semi-sequel to Shyamalan’s 2000 movie Unbreakable.
If you haven’t seen Unbreakable, you have to. It’s a great movie about Bruce Willis’s character (David Dunn) who discovers that he has super strength and invulnerability and decides to become a hero and save people. Bruce Willis being at the end of Split means it takes place in the same universe. While Unbreakable is seen as Bruce Willis’s Superhero origin story, Split is James McAvoy’s supervillain origin story. Which means we’ll get to see these two go down in a future Unbreakable 2, a movie which people have been asking for. I got so excited i literally smiled to myself like an idiot on the way out. Shyamalan managed to pull of a twist that we never saw coming. The only clue that he gave was in the poster with the cracked imagery, similar to the Unbreakable poster.