To begin with, if you’re expecting the typical M. Night Shyamalan style movie with the patented twist ending, you’re probably going to find yourself disappointed. However, if you’re expecting a well-written and acted psychological thriller with some minor horror elements, then this movie won’t disappoint.
James McAvoy (of X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse) plays a whole cast of characters, each with their own distinct personalities and physical attributes that he does quite convincingly. He really pulls off the concept of D.I.D., or Disassociative Identity Disorder, what people might remember as “Multiple Personality Disorder” from the late 70’s early 80’s. It’s a personality disorder that is caused by a great trauma, or repeated in an individual’s life that is so traumatic that the mind cannot handle it so it splits into different personalities in order to protect the host personality. It’s a concept touched on by movies such as 1957’s The Three Faces of Eve.
But I digress.
McAvoy’s Dennis personality kidnaps three young students after a birthday party. They wake up in some underground room in a location beneath where they work. We don’t find out where or the significance of the location until the end of the movie, but it is important in order to understand the personality known as “The Beast.” It doesn’t take long to understand what the girls have been taken for, though, I’m not going to tell you here.
Each girl has a distinct personality. You have the aggressive leader in Hayley Lu Richardson (of The Edge of Seventeen) as Claire who is trying to convince the other two that they need to work together to escape. There’s Jessica Sulla (of Lucifer) as Marcia who is quite obviously the follower to Claire’s leader. The last girl, and the main one, is Casey, played by Anya Taylor-Joy (of Morgan). She’s a survivor. We see snippets of her past that have made her who she is. They’re important to the final bit of the plot.
There aren’t a lot of juicy action scenes or CGI effects to wow most audience members and Shyamalan doesn’t use jump scares tactics that you find in the typical modern big-budget horror flicks. He uses real psychology and that is perhaps the scariest thing about the whole movie. I would, however, hesitate to even call this a horror movie as I didn’t find myself scared at any point.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, Split is a fairly okay movie, and arguably one of Shyamalan‘s best, for whatever that’s worth. Both McAvoy and Taylor-Joy did an excellent job in their roles, and although the lack of effects and scares do take away from it, it’s only a little, and this one if still totally worth seeing. Personally, I would wait to see this in the dollar theater. It is a good movie and it doesn’t require a big screen or awesome sound systems to view it. Oh, and yes, there is of course one of THOSE endings, but you’ll just have to go see it to know what that is. – 7.0/10
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine