Split (2016)

Rated PG-13
Thriller
Try pairing with:  Mongolian Beef

Jen’s Rating:  A

I’ve seen preview after preview for this movie and wanted to see it so bad so when Jeremy came home from work and said, “guess what we are watching tonight, Split!” I was so excited that we made sure the girls were in bed on time. M. Night Shyamalan is a fantastic writer and director.  The thing I love most about his films is that they are filmed in the area he grew up in. Its great because he is giving back to his community allowing local talent become a part of something great!

The beginning started with normal teen girl interaction but quickly became interesting when the 3 girls were abducted. The abducted girls were upper class suburban kids except one, Casey Cooke, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. Casey is different from other local teen girls but you don not find out why until the end of the movie. Casey was taught survival skills that the other 2 girls were not taught.

5-year-old Casey, played by Izzie Coffey, oozed her characters emotions. She set up the back-story of Casey’s “different” life.  This allowed you to not only form feelings for the character but it also allowed you to see how her mind worked.

 James McAvoy was astounding, incredible and remarkable playing all of his characters.  If you closed your eyes when each of his characters talked you would absolutely believe he was that person.  His interaction with his therapist Dr. Karen Fletcher, played by Betty Buckley were great because you got to see 2 characters come out at the same time.

The whole time during the film you’re wondering where these girls are being held and you don’t realize it until McAvoy reveals the fearsome 24th personality. I love how they left the ending open for a sequel.  I gave Split an A based on the incredible acting by the lead roles and the amazing story line.  I highly recommend this movie!

Jeremy’s Rating:  B+

Waiting for Split to come out was part of my draw to the film. From the time it had released in theaters, I had been hearing about it from people, and about the never-expected twist at the end.  I’m glad that I waited to see it, because I don’t think I would’ve been happy if I had paid to see it in the theater, but I was enthralled and absolutely wowed by it when we rented it recently.  Over the years I have been burning out on M. Night Shyamalan films as the quality has seemed to slowly but consistently decrease, with the last few offerings looking so uninteresting that I didn’t even spend the time to watch them.  But not with Split.  Split is unique; Split is exciting; Split is great.

James McAvoy plays Kevin, whom we find out fairly early in the film, suffers from DID, or Dissociative Identity Disorder, a condition known to most people as Multiple Personality Disorder.  Within the first ten minutes of the film, he abducts three girls, one being Casey Cooke, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, who begins to figure out what is wrong with Kevin as he reveals more and more personalities to the girls as they are held in captivity.  There is so much of this film to spoil, so I don’t want to give too many details, but there are roughly twenty-three identities within Kevin.  As more comes to light, we find that there is a horrifying fourth identity that has not truly manifested itself within him, and some of the identities are trying to coax it out into existence.

This film is really best simply watched rather than explained, and the acting by everyone involved is superb.  There are times when it does get slow, but McAvoy’s ability to change from one scene to the next, draws you right back in hoping to see what will happen next, or what part of himself he will reveal.  This is easily the best Shyamalan film in years and is at the caliber of his breakout original The Sixth Sense.  The movie is not perfect, which is why I have not scored it higher, but I highly recommend this for anyone who loves a good thriller.  Also, be sure to check out the director’s back catalogue of films to fully understand the final twist and add a hugely interesting premise to the film.

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