Director M. Night Shyamalan seemed to have lost some of his film making magic with such movies as The Happening and Lady in the Water, but he seems to have gotten his mojo back with Split, a thriller that came out in 2016.
After a birthday party, popular girls Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), Marcia (Jessica Sula), and outsider Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) are kidnapped by a mysterious man named “Dennis” (James McAvoy) an OCD person who has sinister ideas for the girls.
While trying to figure a way to escape, the girls are greeted by “Patricia” who is “Dennis” dressed as a woman and later by the childlike “Hedwig.” Their kidnapper has disassociative identity disorder which does not only cause personality changes, but there is a hidden person that is so terrible and frightening, he is almost superhuman.
Claire and Marcia make attempts to escape while, Casey, a girl with a history of abuse, tries to understand their kidnapper in order to gain a way out.
Meanwhile, we find out that their kidnapper is Kevin Wendell Crumb. A mild-mannered man who is seeing a therapist (Betty Buckley). Kevin is almost completely gone as Dennis, Patricia, Hedwig, and the “Beast” fight for the spotlight. Whatever the beast is planning for the young girls, it is something violent and dangerous.
The plot, the acting, and even the overall feel of the film brings back the dramatic creepiness that you felt watching his flicks.
McAvoy and Taylor-Joy are particularly excellent in the film. The two of them bring the movie to a different level from the usual “jump scares.”
Mental health professionals accused the film of perpetuating the stereotype that people suffering from DID are dangerous, but in fact, the film goes out of the way to say they are not. Simply this single person is on the frightening psychopath scale.
The movie is unique in that is lacks the infamous “Shyamalan twist” at the end, except that is connected to Unbreakable. Do not worry, there are no spoilers in this review. It seems that he is backing away from that and focusing more on driving the suspense of the film. While the movie lacked the luster and gravitas of his earlier works like The Sixth Sense or Signs, it definitely a return to form for the famous director.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, foul language, disturbing images, sexual innuendo
FAVORITE QUOTE: The broken are the more evolved.
Check out the movie trailer:
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