Dir.: M. Night Shyamalan
To say that I was excited to see this movie would be an understatement. Upon seeing the trailer for the first time, I was excited to see a movie about a topic that I am already interested in. I listened to a whole podcast by stuffyoushouldknow on dissociative identity disorder and was very intrigued. By the end of the trailer my interest was peaked. I believe that my exact words were, “That movie looks crazy!” I hate to go into a movie with those kind of expectations, because I’m practically asking to be let down. However, I can pleasantly say that this wasn’t necessarily the case.
They say that first impressions are everything. If this is the case, then this movie was off to a heck of a start. Split wastes no time getting into the action. The scenes we see in the trailer happen almost immediately and I loved it. However, this did have me curious as to how they were going to stretch the whole thing out to two hours appropriately. Thankfully, I would say that the movie was paced very well. I was practically on the edge of my seat the whole time.
Speaking of being on the edge of my seat, one thing that this movie does really well is deal will suspense and horror. We live in a time where scary movies are fueled by loud noises and jump scares. Now don’t get me wrong, these things have their place and really aren’t a bad thing. However, this movie does a great job of avoiding the pitfalls of jump scares. All of the scenes that I expected jump scares didn’t have them. There was no loud music or anything jumping out at me, it was just the scary thing that happened. If I’m being honest, this was just as scary, anticipating a jump scare that never comes.
James McAvoy was absolutely the highlight of the movie. While, at times, some of the personalities seemed a bit silly, McAvoy really does a great job of managing playing a large number of different characters. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast wasn’t necessarily the same. The three girls honestly weren’t all that great. Anya Taylor-Joy put in the best performance of the girls, but even she felt kind of stale at times.
I would honestly say that Shyamalan does a really good job of making the audience feel how high the stakes are. The danger feels real the entire time. Kevin(McAvoy) talks about “The Beast” throughout the movie and how horrible it is so much so, that by the time that he comes around, I’m not gonna lie, I was a little underwhelmed. “The Beast” was described as a huge, strong creature with long fingers and a flowing mane. Whenever it finally appears, it’s just Kevin, but scarier.
Now before you go crazy, I know that the “twist” totally explains why this is the case, but the audience hasn’t gotten there at this point. The payoff is fine but I feel like I expected more.
[ THIS IS THE PART WHERE I TALK ABOUT THE BIG REVEAL]
If M. Night Shyamalan is known for anything, its his big, sometimes silly, twist endings. Going into this movie I expected the same. I wasn’t really sure what it would be, but I knew it would be there. I spent the entire movie looking for clues or anything that might give it away. However, much to my surprise, the twist was that there was no twist. There was a bit of a reveal but there was no twist that completely changes how things should have been viewed throughout the movie.
The big reveal at the end was that the whole movie took place under a zoo. Now i totally get how after learning that little things make sense, like the drawings or like the descriptions of the beast being animal characteristics, but I kinda didn’t care. They made it seem like it was this big dramatic reveal but it honestly didn’t feel like it changed much for me.
There’s also a fun little cameo at the end tying this movie to another of Shyamalan’s works, but I really have no comment on that as I have never seen that movie.
Needless to say I did really enjoy the movie. It was fun, intriguing, and a little scary. I’d give it a solid 7.5/10