Split (2017)

Let’s talk about that ending though…

Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, and must try and escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.

You don’t know happy I was to see veteran horror director, M Night Shyamalan back to his horror roots after an awkward stumble of blockbuster fails a few years back. Following up with his previous low budget creeper The Visit, the old school M Night returns to resounding form with thriller, Split.

I think I will always have a little soft spot for M Night (hello – he did give us The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs!), and I hate how the majority of his audience will immediately jump to the expectation that it will be another disappointment and think “Well, it’s no Sixth Sense” … Like no shit! That’s why The Sixth Sense is so magical! There will never be anything else like it, not now or ever.

I admire M Night for writing and directing his own work, I love his flavour of style and story even if the movies aren’t perfect. Split, indeed has its flaws, it’s a touch on the long side, the differing personalities are thin stereotypes and the heavy inclusion of Betty Buckley’s character dilutes the films tension and mystery, as she spoon feeds the audience far too much exposition. In saying all that, it was so refreshing to see the dissociative identity disorder storyline as the premise and not the twist.

I have to admit I had my doubts for James McAvoy, but he was surprisingly pleasing. McAvoy transitions so easily from one personality to the next, its an impressive feat of acting that a lesser actor seriously could have fumbled and made the whole premise just that little bit sillier. As expected, Anya Taylor-Joy blossomed and I am loving her becoming a regular scream queen, with this being her third horror film entry after The Witch and Morgan.

Yes, this is a movie that may split (sorry) audiences, as it touches on mental health and trauma and not in the most positive light, particularly the side story of Casey’s childhood, which was a little unnecessary. No matter, it is certainly thrilling to see M Night return to genre… and as we watch M Night’s stylish choices unfold we see Split adopt an almost gritty graphic novel inspired look, which fans of his older work will get an absolute kick out, especially in the final electrifying seconds!

7.0 / 10

 “He’s done awful things to people and he’ll do awful things to you”