Split (2017)

Split Movie Review

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Split Movie Review

Split is a 2017 thriller horror film directed M. Night Shyamalan and starring James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy. It is such a stupendously good horror flick.

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The broken are the more evolved

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Split Movie Review

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It follows a man with a multiple personality disorder (he has 23 personalities and a potential 24th) who kidnaps and imprisons three teenage girls in an underground facility. The plot is pretty good and actually very original. This disorder is tailor-made for the horror genre and I am glad that Shayamalan realized that and made such a good use of it.

I thought the first half was excellent, very intriguing and quite suspenseful. I really liked all the different scenarios and it was a lot of fun watching all those different personalities emerge. However, the second half disappointed me. I did like the ending as it connected this movie with ‘Unbreakable’ so well and left a lot of room for a possible sequel to both movies. But what I didn’t like is the film’s refusal to show us the other personalities and not just the eight or so out of 24. That was a missed opportunity.

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Split Movie Review

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I also didn’t like some of the typical horror trappings that prevailed in the third act. Of course the protagonist survives and she was the toughest physically of the three and the other two girls were typical disposable teenagers so they had to die. I also disliked those flashbacks as they were kind of pointless.

So the girls I disliked more or less and that old lady psychologist was also frustrating because she was too much of an idiot and I really didn’t want her to die. But Kevin is great and he more than made up for the troublesome female characters. Such a fascinating character, so well established and developed. Of those different personalities, Hedwig is the most memorable and of course The Beast was quite menacing.

James McAvoy gave one of the year’s finest performances in Split. He is absolutely fantastic and again proves how hugely underrated and talented he is. He sold every single personality here and was believable in every single one of these roles. He killed it in such a difficult, multiple-part performance and is the standout of the whole movie. I also liked Anya Taylor-Joy here, but she was much weaker than him for sure.

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Split Movie Review

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So Split is pretty well directed and is actually my favourite of the director’s films. The dialogue is solid and the film deals with a lot of interesting issues and even though it doesn’t quite manage to explore all of them, it still provides for a rich, intriguing and clever experience. It succeeds as a pretty good thriller and it is even more so a thriller than a horror as the second half really didn’t feature enough scares, but at least the first one had some pretty atmospheric scenes. It doesn’t quite utilize on this winner premise to the fullest degree, but it succeeds more often than not and it was mostly a pretty satisfactory little film.

Split definitely is a missed opportunity in its second half as it doesn’t showcase more of those 23 personalities plus it suffers from some typical horror trappings there, but the first half is very good and the ending is quite interesting. The premise is amazing and the main character is so fascinating plus the movie deals with some interesting issues. But the biggest reason to see it lies in James McAvoy’s performance which is absolutely fantastic and he crushed it in such a demanding role, proving how talented and underrated he is in the process.

My Rating – 4

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Posted in 2010s, 2017, FILM DECADES, Horror, MOVIE REVIEWS, Thriller and tagged , , , , , , .

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