‘Split’ (Review) – A Good Twisted Thriller with Bad Dancing

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs)
Written by M. Night Shyamalan
James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Jessica Sula, Haley Lu Richardson
Rating: PG-13
Our Rating: ★★★ Entertaining, Interesting

Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of “The Sixth Sense,” “Unbreakable,” and “Signs” with “Split,” an original film that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s (JAMES MCAVOY) fractured, gifted mind. Here, the personality of Dennis has emerged.

As the trailer tells us Kevin (James McAvoy) is a man suffering from dissociative identity disorder, he has 23 personalities. Kevin or one of his personalities abducts three teenage girls from a parking lot. Although you think of the usual sinister reasons why a man would take three young women, Split does something a bit different. Well it is M. Night Shyamalan for goodness sakes. As Kevin holds these young women captive we are treated to James McAvoy introducing us to at least five of the personalities including Barry, the wanna be Givenchy designer, Hedwig, Patricia, Jade and Dennis. Barry is my favorite of course because he mentions Chanel. Y’all know how much I love a label.

Here, the personality of Hedwig has emerged.

The three teenage girls seem to be typical teens for the most part, however they prove to be smart fighters and survivors. Hat tips to the writers for making them strong young women who try to rescue themselves. So not to spoil you too much, I’ll simply say one of the teens uses something extremely bad in her past to her advantage in this film.

Betty Buckley appears in this as the well-intentioned Dr. Fletcher who is trying to convince the mental health world that people with DID can actually change their DNA to exhibit psychical qualities matching that personality. I’m unfamiliar with this disorder so I’ll simply say if true this is a fascinating occurrence.

As with most Shamalyn movies the ending is up for interpretation. You could find this twist amazing and satisfying or like me you could say it was entertaining, but still sort of meh. I have questions. I think Shyamalan is back to his pre-‘The Happening’, ‘Devil’ misdeeds. Split is well acted, suspenseful, and interesting. It’s also a little nutty and ridiculous. But, the story is well-written, so you will find yourself rooting for the home team and all that.

The Fatale says – See It!
Split is now playing in a theater near you.