Sunday, April 16, 2017


Director - M. Night Shyamalan (Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense)
Starring - James McAvoy (Victor Frankenstein, X-Men: Apocalypse), Anya Taylor-Joy (The VVitch, Vampire Academy), and Betty Buckley (Carrie, The Happening)
Release Date - 2016
Genre - Horror/Thriller
Tagline - "Kevin has 23 distinct personalities.  The 24th is about to be unreleased"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     I never really thought about it but I guess I can say I'm a fan of M. Night Shyamalan.  I never actually considered how many of his films that I actually enjoy.  Like most of you, my first Shyamalan  film was The Sixth Sense.  I was reluctant to watch it at first but once I decided to check it out I was thoroughly impressed.  I was not satisfied with The Village but he pulled me back in with Unbreakable and Signs.  Sadly, that is the only films of his that I have seen but I have been looking forward to watching The Visit.  When I first saw the previews for Split I immediately knew this would be one I had to check out.  I didn't care if I reviewed it or not.  All I wanted to do was see it.  When the bluray was announced I quickly reached out for a review copy.  Thanks for sending it my way.
     The film follows social outcast Casey Cooke (Joy) who is hitching a ride with some classmates when her ride fails to pick her up from a birthday party.  While she is getting in the car with two other young girls they are abducted by a strange man.  The man has 23 split personalities and the more sinister of the bunch have taken over the body and plan on unleashing the 24th personality...the beast.  Casey must fight for her life or become the first meal for the new personality.
     I had no idea what to expect from this one.  I knew I would love it but I didn't know which direction it would go.  The trailer painted it like it was more of a horror film but given Shyamalan's previous films I thought it would flow more like a thriller.  The film actually landed  somewhere in between which is unique for most.  The film was mostly a a dark thriller but the last quarter of the film was very influenced by horror.  The acting in this one is one of the best acted films I have ever seen.  Anya Taylor-Joy was a great cast and a strong female lead.  She is reluctant at first but comes through when she needs to.  She was a wise choice for the role.  Her supporting cast is great as well which really adds to the vibe of the film.  With that being said, no one was on James McAvoy's level.  I have not been that impressed with a dual role performance since I reviewed Dead Ringers.  McAvoy was an underrated actor before this film but now the world knows he is among the best.  The story for this one is damn near perfect.  The film makes you think you are about to watch another pointless torture porn flick but quickly foes the psychological thriller route before ending the film with a more traditional horror portion.  The viewer is forced to watch every second of the film.  There is no time to look away for just a second for fear of missing something important.  This is beautiful storytelling.  Finally, the film does have a few deaths with some solid gore but nothing that stands out.  The kills are so quick and are such a minor portion of the story that the typical horror fan will not focus too much time on them.  The effects for this kills are top notch and I assume are the best money can buy.  Overall, Split is the kind of studio horror that we need right now that makes going to the movies fun again.  The story is original and steers clear of the remakes and sequels.  Those of you bitching for original horror and thrillers will find some delight in this one.  Check it out.

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