Split: Some people never experience madness, what terrible lives they must lead.
In 2017 M Night Shyamalan returned after pallid attempts to recreate the horror that fan’s witnessed in The Sixth Sense. Split marks his return.
Split is a classic portrayal of his work with a hint of Hitchcock inspired horror and suspense.
When Casey (Played by Anya Taylor-Joy) finds herself stranded after a party, she and her two of her inebriated friends accept a ride off a stranger, they’re too distracted by their social media feeds to realise the man in the drivers seat has actually become someone else entirely.
Cut to the teenagers waking up to a locked room in a tormented souls basement. The plot thickens beyond horror, beyond fantasy, into a concept so ingeniously perplexing you’re confronted by your own demons.
While it’s hard enough for directors to cast a part. When M Night Shyamalan cast James McAvoy, it wasn’t just one part he had in mind for the talented Scottish actor.
Split required acting that was far beyond Being John Malcovitch.
McAvoy plays a man suffering from a dissociative identity disorder, where his identities lie on different levels of sanity. The devil that lives inside of him kidnapped the girls, the other personalities are a little less cruel and a lot more forgiving.
There are three elements to Split, which creates a viewing experience beyond any other. For thriller fans, there’s the claustrophobia behind the three girls struggling to evade their captor.
The plot deeply invests in Casey’s character through flashbacks of torment to paint the history of the character so meek of demeanour she almost sways McAvoy into someone rational and humanistic. Amidst McAvoy’s multiple guises throughout the duration of the film the most immersive has to be ‘his therapist’ Betty that is able to illuminate the fact that her ‘patient’ is losing control, creating multiple expositions that weave it’s way through the plot riddled with horror. These scenes are without a shadow of a doubt the most gripping throughout the sequence.
If you loved James McAvoy in Filth, you’ll love him in Split.
It was a bold move by M Night Shyamalan, but one that definitely paid off.
With any surrealist horror, you’ll always have your critics. Yet the fact that McAvoy can change his anatomy with his mind is poignantly flawless and undoubtedly vetted by psychologists. Split is concluded with a gratifying finish. It doesn’t fail to deliver when the film comes to the ending, there’s no twist endings that purely serve to enrage you. The film is perfectly rounded with a succinct balance between serious heart wrenching commentary and the terror which unfolds before the bomb is dropped, making you question everything you just saw.
Split harbours a complexity that may be beyond film fans looking for an easy watch. However those looking for a film more challenging Split will suit every personality who wishes to view M Night Shyamalan letting his freak flag fly in this gregariously unapologetic B Movie.
Split is packed full of cinematic tricks, that offer mind blowing perspectives and rapid changes in visual focus to unleash an intersectional representation of emotion, sexuality, and artistic repression.