February 4, 2017

Split (2016).

Review #902: Split.

James McAvoy (Dennis / Patricia / Hedwig / The Beast / Kevin Wendell Crumb / Barry / Orwell / Jade), Anya Taylor-Joy (Casey Cooke), Betty Buckley (Dr. Karen Fletcher), Haley Lu Richardson (Claire Benoit), Jessica Sula (Marcia), Brad William Henke (John), Sebastian Arcelus (Mr. Cooke), Neal Huff (Mr. Benoit) Directed by M. Night Shyamalan (#039 - The Sixth Sense)

It's been two weeks since it came out in theaters (as it premiered at festivals earlier last year such as Fantastic Fest), but I figured that Split would be interesting enough to watch on the big screen, and it has been over five years since I saw a Shyamalan film. Ultimately, it is a nifty horror film in how creepy it raises itself while managing to save its trump card of horror for a pretty satisfactory climax, at least for me anyway, and it does that on a PG-13 rating. While it can be argued that the premise is somewhat strange, it can also be argued that it is also somewhat interesting to make a film out of, and it is executed fairly well, not being just an run-of-the-mill escape film with teens. It is undeniable to say that the best part of the movie is McAvoy, who delivers on showing numerous personalities with the right kind of off-putting terror, where even him dancing to music (as one of his...odder personalities) is creepy. Taylor-Joy does a pretty decent job as well, having a quiet but useful type of cleverness that works better than the other two captives, probably because she isn't so focused on escaping so quickly. The movie thankfully does have scenes outside the cellar, and Buckley does a decent job in making her character a bit more than just a doctor with a patient going crazy. It is true that the characters are a bit odd with their decisions at time (with the doctor qualifying for this near the end as well), but Split manages to keep itself going on the idea of seeing what McAvoy is going to show up next. The climax, as mentioned before, is satisfactory in how it manages to not resort to too much CGI or over-screaming, working on its own terms. The Beast is a fairly decent effect, not being too ridiculous (in terms of voice or look) while managing to work in the short amount of time it gets on screen. On the whole, this is a satisfying (along with creepy) film, with Shyamalan doing a good job in making an entertaining film like this.

Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.

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