Firstly this is my first full movie review of the year so I hope you are all excited! Anyway lets get on with it. If The Visit signalled M.Night Shymalan's return, Split shows he has stuck the landing.
Read my review here.
SUMMARY TIME: Casey (Anya Taylor Joy) , Marcia (Jessica Sula) and Claire (Hayley Lu Richardson) are kidnapped by Kevin (James McAvoy) or are they? Kevin could actually be one of 23 personalities as he has DID. Only 3 of these personalities seem to be involved in the kidnapping as they wish to bring forward a strong evil personality 24 known as The Beast. Meanwhile his therapist (Betty Buckley) unconvinced that the personality she has been speaking to is who he says he is goes to find answers.
Split teeters happily on the knife edge between horror and thriller. A place M Night Shymalan has shown us he can be before but this time it definitely feels more assured. The story is strong and it is anchored by two fabulous performances. In fact the entire film rests James McAvoy and Anya Taylor Joy.
However it's McAvoy that you are going to remember the most. He's almost unrecognisable as he switches between characters. In one particularly brilliant scene he is one character playing another character to fool the therapist. But its very obvious who's who even when he doesn't have time to change wardrobe. stances change, his walk changes in fact physically he transforms in front of your eyes from one character to the other. From an Older British Lady into a nine year old boy who wants to show Casey his best dance moves to a diabetic girl that just wants to know why she's the only diabetic.
The entire film posits one belief that what doesn't kill you gives you the ability to survive and in Dennis's words "be pure". Thats what the girls are there for. Also all the women in this film are kinda awesome. The therapist is clever and has a brilliant battle of wits with Dennis and the girls don't give up. They don't stop fighting for their lives which is so refreshing they aren't the standard boring horror movie drips that just walk to the slaughter.
Also THAT TWIST. WHO IN THE LIVING HELL COULD HAVE GUESSED THAT PERSON I WON'T SPOIL WOULD TURN UP. HOLY MOLEY!! THE NEXT ONE IS GOING TO BE AWFUL.
There has been some controversy for this movie and I'm not going to weigh in on that here especially as this twist kinda changes it a bit in a way. But honestly this is brilliant movie and the next installment which Shymalan is already talking about is already on my to watch list.