Movie Review: Split (2016)

Directed by M Night Shyamalan, Split is a 2016 psychological horror/thriller. James McAvoy is Kevin, a man with 23 other multiple personalities, who kidnaps three young girls: Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula). Through interactions with Kevin, the girls learn he has several dominant personalities, including “Dennis”, who has severe OCD, “Patricia”, a gentle, but very strict odler woman, and “Hedwig”, a naive 9-year old boy. The girls soon learn the 24th personality, known only as “The Beast”, will soon manifest, and they do all they can to escape their captor.

+ McAvoy is absolutely incredible. The way he switches between each persona is fascinating and terrifying, and a few times had me wondering if there was some CGI used to change his face. The differences between each personality, whether it be the verbal tics, the simple voice change or an almost entirely restructured face make it easy to tell “who” you are watching on screen
+ Anya Taylor-Joy is again great to watch. I said in my review of Morgan she wil be a star, and I believe that to still be true. The way her character retroactively evolves, as her backstory is revealed, is heartbreaking but impressive to behold
+ the entire atmosphere of the film is foreboding and intense. In true Shyamalan style, there are some twists and turns, but the plot develops at a pace which keeps you guessing right until the reveals. One final moment sets the whole film on it’s head, and puts everything you’ve just seen into a whole new context

James McAvoy as Kevin / “Hedwig”

> In some ways, this reminded me of 10 Cloverfield Lane; a similar abduction plot soon gives way to something much larger, with fantastic portrayals of a terrifying human antagonist with interesting “good” reasons behind what they do.

Should you see this film: Definitely. I was not entirely sure how the various personalities would be portrayed, but I was completely blown away at McAvoy’s performance, and Taylor-Joy once again shows she is going to be a huge star. Definitely see this movie, tell your friends to see this movie, and follow up on any other required viewing.


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