Remember The Sixth Sense? Remember the director? Yeah, he’s back…
Split follows three teenage girls (two best friends and one social outcast) after they’ve been kidnapped by almost-silent Dennis (James McAvoy). They wake up from unconsciousness in an underground bunker of sorts to realise Dennis has sinister plans for them and that they’ll have to escape SOON.
They peak through a crack in the door of their room and see a woman. They call to the woman hoping that she’ll let help them out and then… they realise Dennis is one of many McAvoys…
Their kidnapper and the woman are only two of Kevin’s 23 split personalities. A few of the personalities decided to kidnap the girls in order to “fuel” the incoming 24th personality whom they call… “the Beast”.
Split is a film which is hard to talk about in-depth without spoiling the story so for this review, I will quickly review it in a non-spoiler fashion and then there’ll another section of spoiler-talk. So you’re safe now but only read past the large poster if you’ve seen the film.
Split is classic Shyamalan. Faulty, but still good brain-food.
I wouldn’t like to think of Shyamalan as a horror or thriller director, I think of him as a “light psycho” filmmaker, meaning he makes psychological thrillers which aren’t that thrilling unless you really, really think about them.
This means that if you want to watch Split because you’re curious, go right ahead. There are a couple of scenes where you’ll need to ready yourself but there aren’t enough to classify Split as a scary flick.
However, if you go in, watch Split, get past the few horror scenes, then really really think about what happened and put yourself in the situation… this is a great thriller.
The shining light in Split would definitely have to be James McAvoy. He perfectly embodies Kevin as well as Kevin’s inner collection of demons and his performance is certainly worth 23 Oscars (slight exaggeration).
It certainly has some minor faults but if you look past them (and you most likely will), Split is an intriguing, oddly funny, oddly creepy and oddly Shyamalan thriller which will have you thinking for a while. I’d recommend it for McAvoy’s performance alone however there is more to digest. I also recommend that you watch Unbreakable before going in.
Beyond this poster lies The Spoiler Zone, there is no turning back from this place and the film will be entirely spoiled for you so if you want to experience Split to the fullest, click out of this review NOW.
KEVIN IS FREE. SPLIT IS AN ORIGIN STORY FOR A SUPERVILLAIN. ARGARHRHHFJGOEJHSHASHRGOVJDJEOGOVNSHYAMALAN.
During the final scene of Split where multiple customers in a diner talk about Kevin (or as the news is referring to him, “the Horde”), we see Bruce Willis reprising his role from Unbreakable as the seemingly invincible janitor, David Dunn.
When Willis appeared during this film’s final scene, almost everyone in the audience at my screening gasped in excitement and I don’t think it was excitement for the connection, I feel they were just excited to see John McClane.
M. Night has gone on record confirming that Split is connected to Unbreakable both within its world and within ours.
When Shyamalan was writing Unbreakable back in the day, he wrote it with three central characters; David Dunn (Bruce Willis), Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) and his to-be arch-nemesis Kevin Wendell Crumb (now James McAvoy).
But when he wrote the screenplay, he decided that even though he loved the creepy and complicated character of Kevin, he wouldn’t fit into that particular film. He decided instead to focus solely on David Dunn’s origin story and his connection with Mr. Glass, while writing Kevin’s origin story as the separate film we know today as Split.
I think this was a great turn of events because Unbreakable is one of the best superhero films to date solely because it was written like a comic book but directed like a psychological thriller and the exact same goes for here, despite the fact that you don’t realise it’s an origin story until it’s over.
If you haven’t seen Unbreakable yet I highly suggest that you do because not only is it a great film in it’s own right, it’s crucial to understanding Split and where Split comes from.
If my heaven-like local cinema (the Hayden Orpheum) were to screen Unbreakable and Split as a double feature, I could definitely see myself being first in line.
What did you think of Split? Have you seen Unbreakable? Did you realise this was a super villain’s origin story?
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