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Split (2017) Review

Theatrical Release Date: January 20th, 2017

Home Media Release Date: April 18th, 2017

Netflix? – No

Genre: Horror, Thriller.

Rated: 14A

The trailer for this movie made me extremely intrigued and had me on the edge of my seat. I was super intrigued to see James McAvoy play a completely different role than what I had seen before and I was wondering if M. Night Shyamalan could make back to back good films. I really enjoyed his last film The Visit (2015), which I felt was a return to form by Shyamalan who made sequential mediocre films in my opinion. I unfortunately missed Split in theatres, and was anxiously awaiting the home media launch date, and was glad to pick myself up a copy to add to my collection.

Split is a Horror/Thriller film about A man who has 23 different personalities kidnaps three girls. The girls must try to escape before the 24th personality emerges. What follows is in this reviewers opinion, James McAvoy’s best performance so far.

Split is written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Shyamalan’s filmography consists of The Sixth Sense (1999), Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002), The Village (2004), and The Visit (2015). Shyamalan was very hit and miss after he peaked so early as a director. I really didn’t like The Village (2004), I thought it was dumb and I just wasn’t a fan, and I heard bad things about the other films that he put out after that. It took me eleven years to go back to him as a director, when The Visit (2015) came out, I was excited to check that out, and I was really impressed, I don’t know if it was that I had a break from his films or it was just I was in the mood. But it seems to me that he has returned somewhat to his form of making his three really great movies back to back; The Sixth Sense(1999), Unbreakable (2000), and Signs (2002). I don’t care what anyone says, I liked Signs and still really like Signs. I like this new M. Night Shyamalan style though, his films are well written these days, its interesting to watch, but he also throws in moments of comedy, some of it comes off as force humour, but there are actually genuine moments of quips and one liners; especially in The Visit (2015). There were a couple moments in Split were I did chuckle but it was definitely a lot darker in tone. I really enjoyed the style of this movie, it wasn’t flashy, but it did its job. I also thought the script was well done.

Split stars James McAvoy as The Man with the 23 different personalities, Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, Haley Lu Richardson as Claire Benoit, and Jessica Sula as Marcia.

James McAvoy’s filmography consists of Band of Brothers {TV Mini-Series} (2001), X-Men: First Class (2011), Arthur Christmas (2011), X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014), and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). James McAvoy is a talented actor, I enjoyed him a lot as the young Professor Xavier in the newer X-Men series. But I’m quite sure that his role in Split is his best role that he has ever done up to now. Each one of these 23 different personalities is executed with precision, every personalty is different in how they act, and you can see these small manipulations that McAvoy does that is a cue to the audience which one of these personalities is taking over. Its an extremely interesting context for a movie, and with the sheer talent of McAvoy, it was definitely pushed to the next level. Its worth watching this movie alone, just for his performance alone. I thought his performance was so good, that I would like to see him get nominated for an Oscar, but unfortunately I think its too early in the year.

Anya Taylor-Joy’s filmography consists of The VVitch (The Witch) (2015). I like how these young actress is starting to become more popular and pick up roles. My first introduction to Taylor-Joy was in The VVitch (2015), where she played her role brilliantly, she was very believable and she definitely showed me that she has a lot of talent. Its definitely nice to see that she’s getting larger roles and getting her name on the map. I thought she was great in this movie, I don’t think I liked this role as much as I did The VVitch (2016), but that movie was unique and was pretty awesome.

Haley Lu Richardson’s filmography consists of The Edge Of Seventeen (2016). I knew I recognized Richardson from somewhere and it wasn’t until I IMDb’d this movie that I learned that she was in The Edge Of Seventeen (2016). Which is a completely different role for her than the role she played in Split. I thought she played her role well, she was smart. Its rare to see horror movies these days where the characters are actually intelligent in the movie, and it was definitely cool to see Richardson in a completely different role than a coming-of-age comedy drama. I hope to see her in more films.

Jessica Sula’s filmography consists of  Skins {TV Series} (2011-2012). I watched most if not all of Skins when it was super popular when I was in High School, and I re-watched some of it when it was on Netflix, I should probably revisit it. However I do not remember Sula in Skins at all. But I thought she was alright in Split, she definitely was there to push the story along, and I thought she played her role pretty well.

The acting in this movie is definitely where this movie shines, I knew I wanted to see it based on James McAvoy’s performance alone and if you’re a fan of him I can definitely say you need to watch this movie if you haven’t.

This movie is definitely not perfect, I felt the pacing was kind of off in some places and there were other places where I just didn’t get what exactly was going on, but this movie’s performances and the return to style and form for M. Night Shyamalan.

If M. Night Shyamalan continues to make good films again, I will continue to watch them. I’m definitely looking forward to his next project.

This was short but sweet. I give Split a 4/5.

Until Next Time!


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