Director M. Night Shyamalan takes his horrors one step further with his latest villain. Kevin (James McAvoy) has 23 distinct personalities and the 24th one is about to be unleashed.
One of his personalities kidnaps three young girls (Anya Taylor Joy, Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula) from a parking lot. When he comes to Kevin has no recollection of the events that have passed. But he knows that he must keep the girls captive, or risk angering his other stronger, more violent personalities.
Kevin keeps the three girls prisoner in a small room in an undisclosed location. What’s unnerving is that he never tells them what he plans to do with them. Every time his personality shifts the girls’ captor becomes more unpredictable.
The girls must try to escape before the frightful 24th personality appears. They will have to learn how to work with Kevin’s more passive personalities if they stand a chance of surviving their ordeal.
Split marks the comeback of one of the most talented filmmakers of this generation — M Night Shyamalan.
I’m disappointed to report that I found Split rather tiresome. The fact that McAvoy changes outfits every time he shifts personality takes you out of the moment. To me it would have been a whole lot scarier for him to change between personalities without a moment’s notice, with only his mannerisms and vocabulary changing.
There’s a very obvious throwback to Psycho when we meet Aunt Patricia for the first time. But it fails to deliver the same punch as the classic horror. For saying that Split is supposed to be a horror-thriller it wasn’t that scary or thrilling. In fact, the lack of any real horror scenes, tension or scary characters made it more of a drama in my opinion.
It attempts to build tension but the fact is that McAvoy just isn’t scary. He shifts seamlessly between all his 23 characters, giving each one their unique quirks, accents and facial expressions. But he just doesn’t deliver those spine-tingling scenes I was expecting. In the end the movie’s big reveal is also somewhat of a disappointment thanks to poor CGI effects.
By Ruth Walker