IMDB Synopsis: Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, they must try to escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.
Split directed by M. Night Shyamalan is an interesting movie, so in order for me to really talk about this I’m going to have to split it up. (Ah, see what I did there?) I will talk about my overall impressions of the movie the best I can but I’m going to have a spoiler section afterwards. However, you most definitely should watch the movie before your read it because the ending twist is pretty crazy, probably Shyamalan's best in my opinion. So let’s get to it.
Split turned out to be a very different movie than I was expecting based on what I saw in the trailer. I went into this thinking it was closer to a more traditional horror film but I was pretty wrong. I’d say it’s closer to suspense thriller because there really isn’t that many legitimately scary moments. In fact there were none for me and I’m a pretty jumpy person by nature. The story was for the most part a bit on the duller side, not much happens for majority of the run time and while it’s not a horror movie in the traditional sense it falls into that trap of the characters doing stupid things no real person would do no matter how in shock you are. The performances were a bit all over the place but I did really enjoy James McAvoy and Anna Taylor Joy’s performances. James McAvoy was pretty incredible playing Kevin and his multiple personalities going from one personality to another especially when it happened on screen and I see it change in front of my eyes. Anna Taylor Joy was great as well she was the only one of the three abducted girls that had a believable performance, the other two not so much. The ending for this movie in usual Shyamalan fashion had a twist but I have to say this may be his best twist. I’ll get more into that in the spoiler half.
Last thing I want to mention because this definitely might turn some people off from the movie is their handling of the term dissociative Identity disorder. Essentially the character of Kevin is labeled as suffering from a psychological disorder in the form of DID which is where he gets his 24 personalities, but they paint him as this dangerous person and I can easily see how this could perpetuate a misconception that all people with DID or any sort of psychological disorder are potentially dangerous and I’m not sure I like that.
I’d say in the end Split is an interesting movie. It has some amazing performances by the leads however most of the movie is not anything special until you get to the ending twist then it leaves you with some big questions and much intrigue. If you were a fan of Shyamalan's earlier movies I think you should definitely go see this because it is closer to his earlier works. If you’ve seen the movie then check out the spoiler section below, if you haven’t then absolutely don’t read on because the end reveal is pretty huge and I wouldn’t want to ruin the experience of that reveal for you. Let me know what you thought of Split because it is a unique movie in many senses of the word.
Should You See It?: If you like Shyamalan's Old Movies
Theater Worthy: Rent it
Final Grade: C
SPOILER SECTION BELOW!
I had to add a spoiler section specifically for the ending of Split because of how unexpected and crazy it was as well as what it means for the movie going forward. So it is revealed at the end that this movie is sort of a sequel to Unbreakable. At the end some patrons were trying to remember another meta-human type person that was on the news years ago after seeing the report about Kevin’s Beast personality and a man tells them he was called Mr.Glass that man turns out to be David Dunn, Bruce Willis’ character from Unbreakable! That was the only part of the movie I audibly yelled out “Whaaaaaaat!?” in the theater. This means that both Split and Unbreakable are part of the same universe and Split was essentially a super villain origin story. What’s more interesting is that I think this is setting up a third movie in which Kevin’s Beast is going to face off against David. This in no way makes what was a 90% mediocre movie amazing but the end sure had me a bit more excited and interested!