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. It stars James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula, and features a cameo by Bruce Willis of Unbreakable fame.
After a birthday party, popular girls Claire, Marcia, and outsider Casey are kidnapped by a mysterious man named “Dennis” 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. 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.
Mental health professionals accused the film of perpetuating the stereotype that people suffering from DID are dangerous, but in the fact, the film goes out of the way to say they are not. Simply this single person is on the scale.
The movie is unique in that is lacks the infamous “Shyamalan twist” at the end. 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.
The plot, the acting, and even the overall feel of the film brings back the dramatic creepiness that you felt watching his flicks.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, foul language, disturbing images, sexual innuendo
FAVORITE QUOTE: The broken are the more evolved.
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