Kevin has 23 distinct personalities. The 24th is about to be unleashed.
James McAvoy teams up with M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) for a psychological thriller about a deeply disturbed sufferer of dissociative identity disorder.... More
Psychiatrist Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley) has already counted 23 discrete personalities in her client Kevin (McAvoy). But there remains another one incubating under the surface, waiting to reveal itself and dominate all the others. After abducting three teenage girls, Kevin's personalities fight for prominence while the terrified girls fight for their survival.Hide
YOUR RATING & REVIEWWATCHLIST
BY Aaron Yap Flicks Writer
After a prolonged bout in director jail, M. Night Shyamalan may never restore his career to the mainstream respectability once afforded by the success of his earlier work such as The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. With his previous film, the endearingly daft found-footage flick The Visit, and now the gloriously demented Split, he’s managed to rejig our expectations somewhat, comfortably embracing his position as solid craftsman of schlocky, modestly-budgeted genre pictures – nothing more, nothing less.... More
Sure, Split comes with the sort of goofy, gimmicky writing and spoiler-sensitive, sure-to-polarise ending that have made Shyamalan an ongoing source of much derision. But it also exhibits his underrated Hitchcockian flair for tautly maximising suspense through restrained formal rigor rather than gory sensation.
Even if that were lacking, the film would still have the appeal of James McAvoy’s unchecked, laughably overwrought performance as a dissociative identity disorder-suffering kidnapper. He doesn’t quite nail the wide breadth of emotions and personalities required of the role – an uptight germophobe, a 9-year-old Kanye West fan, and a flamboyant fashion designer among them – but as a piece of cartoony showmanship, it’s fun watching him dial it up to 11. That’s in stark contrast to Anna Taylor-Joy, whose palpably distressed victim, played effectively straight, amplifies the unpredictable insanity of his character.
If Split ultimately fails to examine abuse and trauma in any sort of tactful manner, save for the sincere, matronly warmth in which Betty Buckley delivers the script’s expository psychobabble, it’s too weird and entertainingly trashy to write off. It’s Sybil made by a guy who has no qualms casting himself as a “Hooters lover”.Hide
The Peoples' Reviews
Your rating & reviewRate / Review this movie
Rate and/or review
BY JackWallace superstar
BY Tara-Evans wannabe
Thought James McAvoy was great in this movie and was happy it was not just full of over the top gore and violence most of that happend off camera so it was up to you to think through. I felt the end lead itself to a sequal and I would have preferred it to finish then and there but overall I enjoyed the film and McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joys performance's.
BY adamatdramatrain superstar
To say SPLIT exploits, or plays fast n’ loose with D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity... More Disorder) is like saying FAST & FURIOUS 7 played fast n’ loose with physics. Okay, so if you can set aside how poorly a real disorder is treated, then what you get is a fun, thrill ride that’s pretty much solely down to McAvoy’s bravura turn as the multitude of characters that are Kevin.
There’s also a thrill to see Writer/Director M. Night Shyamalan back on psycho-thriller form. I loved his UNBREAKABLE and SIXTH SENSE movies, but pretty much everything else he’s made has left me either cold, bored or flat out furious at the waste of talent and time (I mean, have you seen THE HAPPENING? No? Well don’t, just don’t.)
The direction is solid, especially so in an opening long-take from inside a car, telling the tale and ratcheting up tension, in a dialogue-free display of excellent visual storytelling.
But, once we’re in the locked room where the bad guy (guys?) keeps his victims it’s pretty much standard serial-killer locks girls in a room fare. Again, 21st Century, yet we have young girls stripped to their knickers and bras. The justification? A quick line thrown in from Kevin’s psychiatrist, Dr Fletcher (an excellent performance by Betty Buckley), along the lines of one of Kevin’s personalities liking to watch young girls dance naked, does not justify the outmoded sexism of voyeuristic slasher cinema.
Still, as a throwback to 1970s slasher cinema, it works much as Brian De Palma’s PSYCHO homage, DRESSED TO KILL, once worked. In other words, if this had been made in the 1980s this kind of misogynist, mental health exploitation would have been just par for the RAMBO-era course.
All up though? SPLIT is a tense and entertaining abduction thriller, anchored by a superb central performance. As a fan of Shyamalan-an-a-ding-dong's earlier films, the inevitable quick “twist” scene after the first credits roll is bloody infuriating.
But the biggest twist is that after a string of stinkers, Shyamalan has delivered a pretty good movie.Hide
Showing 5 of 7 reviews. See all reviews