Amazing is an understatement for how impressive Split was. The director, M. Night Shyamalan, has officially made his comeback after almost a decade in the dark. Even though he directed three other films that made minor impacts, they were not able to make as big of an impact as Split. Shyamalan was once known as “the next Spielberg,” but after directing movies after Signs, he was pushed out of the starlight and shoved into the shadows. Split was able to make $40 million in the box office during the opening weekend and has gone on to currently make $55.1 million. This movie had many twists and turns that are very impressive and should not go overlooked.
Casey Cook (Anya Taylor-Joy) is at a girl’s birthday party for her friend Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), and her uncle will not be able to pick her up. Claire’s dad offers to give her and Claire’s friend Marcia (Jessica Sula) a ride home, but as soon as the girls get in the car, there is a man named Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy). Kevin has 23 split personalities living inside him, the most active and dominant personality being Dennis. Dennis has both violent tendencies and obsessive compulsive disorder. He is able to drug each of the girls, and when they wake up, they are locked up in his home. Casey and the other girls make up multiple plans on how to escape by learning about each of the personalities revealed to them. Specifically, two of the personalities, Hedwig and Patricia, have revealed themselves to the three girls. Hedwig is a 9 year old boy who just wants a friend and thinks that Casey could be that friend he can trust. Casey uses this to her advantage and tries to escape by herself and free the other girls. The woman, Patricia, talks to the girls, saying things such as, “Don’t worry, he knows what you’re here for. He’s not allowed to touch you. He knows that. He listens to me.” Dennis, Hedwig, and Patricia say they need the girls to help revive another personality known as “The Beast.” The Beast is the most powerful and hurtful personality of them all, as told by Hedwig, and Casey realizes they are in danger beyond abduction. Casey’s mind is full of flashbacks to her childhood throughout the movie, going back to scenes of her, her father, and her uncle, tying scenes of the outside world to where they are now.
This movie was beautifully filmed and the plot was so original; there is nothing that could be compared to it. I found that from beginning to end, it kept the viewers interested as to what may happen next because of how unpredictable the multiple personalities seemed. It really felt as though you were right there with Casey, trapped with nowhere to go and no one to comfort you. James McAvoy was really able to create such a convincing character who was suffering for many reasons in such a short amount of time; James was only notified that he got the part one month prior to shooting. I found that one of the most amazing scenes was when James was challenged to show Kevin switching from each personality all in one take. I overall loved Split, but there was still one very minor flaw that didn’t tie into the movie as smoothly as it should have. The flashbacks from Casey’s point of view going back and reminiscing about times outside of captivity with her family seemed confusing until the ending of the movie. I feel as though a few of the flashbacks in the beginning of the movie when the girls first got abducted could have been cut from the movie entirely. Besides this one flaw, I highly recommend seeing this horror movie.
* Image from imdb.com