About – Three young teenagers are kidnapped by a man, who has 23 split personalities. The girls try to escape before the apparent ‘beast’ takes them.
Director and writer M. Night Shyamalan, known for directing horrors and thrillers has done it again. Shyamalan is probably well-known for the 2000 film, Unbreakable. Which is the start of this suspense thrilling ride of the trilogy. The follow-on movie after Split is rumoured to be released at the beginning of 2019 named, Glass. The positive aspect to these three films is that all three of them are directed and written by Shyamalan, making it a very exciting time for the thriller/suspense genre.
23 split personalities in one person, surely this can’t work. Thanks to James McAvoy, it does! We don’t actually see all 23 personalities portrayed through Kevin (James McAvoy). However, we do see a great handful and probably from what we know, we get the best ones (of course).
We don’t really see much of Kevin, but he is the one who has the split personalities due to childhood tumours.
James McAvoy’s performances were utterly wonderful. The way he instantly changed from one ‘character’ to another was something special. It was the best performance by him for years.
The narrative isn’t that scary, jumpy horror. It’s more of a thriller that gets your mind working on, how people with this disability handle it. It’s a very interesting topic on how people with this many ‘splits’ can handle the torment from each of them. By having 23 personalities, it works really well in having a connection with the ones we see most. We instantly find them creepy, dishonest and rather cringe worthy. However, by them being on screen long enough they are all different in their own way, it brought a sense of knowingness to each ‘character’. Which shouldn’t work but because of their surroundings and how they were portrayed to us, this feel is normal.
The score was a feature that stays with you. Its tense non-diagetic sounds make the hairs on the back of your neck stand. It emulates the tense, claustrophobic feel with the shots. Which is perfect for a thriller that is trying to get inside your mind and makes us guess what’s around the corner.
Split is a perfect thriller that lives up to the expectations that surrounds the hype. James McAvoy truly gives the performance of his life that we’ve unseen in the past few years. It was helped by the well written characters that he played, created by Shyamalan. It’s a must see 2017 film that is totally underrated by critics.