A review of the movie "Split."
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Director M. Night Shyamalan has produced his share of decent stories, such as Wayward Pines, however he’s also had his major flops. With Split, the only thing I can say with certainty is never have I walked into a movie theatre with low expectations and received even less.
As I consider horror to be one of my favorite movie genres, I didn’t go and see Split with my expectations super high. Occasionally, I’ll come across something authentically creepy, like Stephen King’s Pet Sematary or Ridley Scott’s Alien, however, many horror flicks can fall on their faces before they even start running.
Split tells the tale of three young girls who are kidnapped and held hostage by Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy), a man with 23 different personalities. As they try to escape, they are confronted by several different personalities within the same body. Over the duration of their time trapped in Kevin’s basement, a 24th personality forms: The Beast.
Don’t get me wrong, Split had an interesting premise. When I saw the trailer for the first time, I was so excited to see the different personalities and capabilities that Kevin possessed while he terrorized the three girls. Despite the initial introduction, the execution of the story was absolutely ridiculous and boring.
The main portion of the movie that bothered me was the claim that personality could change biology. I can understand that with different people can come different capabilities, but I have a strong feeling that different personalities don’t cause the ability to deflect shotgun shots, or the evolution of insect-like skin that allows one to climb on walls. For a movie centered around the science of people possessing Dissociative Identity Disorder, the actual science and logic of the movie doesn’t add up.
The plot itself was also very difficult to follow. Throughout the movie, there were multiple flashbacks to Casey’s (Anya Taylor-Joy) past. In these memories, there were allusions to childhood abuse, death, and overall confusion. The flashbacks were intended to add more to Casey’s character and her determination to live, but they were so poorly presented that it left more holes in her character than actual development.
Luckily, even movies that make me cry from how awful they are have their silver linings. McAvoy was a shining light in the dark pit that this movie fell in. His ability to portray many different characters within one movie is admirable and entertaining, and not only was he going off camera as one person and on as another, he was capable of shifting personalities on screen. He captured the ability to physically show the mental morphing between personalities while remaining an absolutely phenomenal actor.
Although McAvoy provided some sort of appeal in the movie, I would prefer to have those two hours of my life back. Split lacked any sort of excitement and anticipation; in fact, it was absolutely boring. If you’re looking for something to watch at midnight for a good scare, Split is highly unrecommended.