Split is about Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) who suffers from DID (Dissociative identity disorder) and he abducts three teenage girls (Claire, Marcia, and Casey), as the plot progress we find out that he intend to offer them to the beast.
M. Night Shyamalan has presented great movies such as “The sixth sense”, he also presented terrible movies such as “The last Airbender” and now he presents a not so great of a movie “split” here is 7 reason why:
1- Even though DID is a controversial mental disorder that psychiatrists still debate if it even exists, it represent a good theme for a dramatic interpretation, however the director/ writer wasted a lot of potential by showcasing only 3 “alters” of the 24 and briefly presenting only 4 more.
2- The movie lacks memorable scenes or lines unlike M Night Shyamalan other work for example the scene where David Dunn (Bruce Willis) realize that he survived a train crash without a scratch on him from the movie “Unbreakable”.
3- As a horror you expect to feel disgust or fear, however even the most scary scene where you see the devoured corpse of Marcia (Jessica Sula) is inept, the wounds are obviously fake and you probably have seen better special effects in TV series, let alone movies.
4- As a thriller, almost all anxiety is non-existent for the movie is frustratingly predictable, you can correctly guess that:
- The Beast does exist as an “alter” it is not a mere fantasy, even if it is highly unrealistic character to exist, but the movie is rated as a horror and you need some sort of monster, all the other characters are struggling humans.
- Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley) is going to die to demonstrate the beast’s powers.
- Marcia is going to die because she was labeled as the “slutty” girl in the beginning and like any other scary movie that character is always at the top of the list of victims.
- Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) is going to survive because she is portrayed as the virgin outcast, her survival at this point is a cliché.
5- In a twisted twist end the beast spares Casey’s life because she too has suffered as he suffered, so the movie is arguing that in an unbelievable way, her sexual abuse by her uncle saved her life! Which is an argument that is difficult to accept to say the least.
6- Casey is emotionally crippled which is understandable after everything she has been through, but Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance makes her seem emotionless, cold ,and distant which in consequence makes it difficult for the audience to sympathize with her.
7- The other twist end is the revelation that the movie “Split” exists in the same universe as the movie “Unbreakable” which would explain Kevin’s super human abilities as the beast, for in a universe that has a super hero like David Dunn there would surly be a super villain like the beast AKA the horde, however we don’t realize this fact until the very end, meanwhile your suspension of disbelief is broken when Kevin gains super powers, for the previous explanations offered at the beginning of the movie in insufficient to justify this incredible feats of strength.
Having said all that the movie is not without merit for James McAvoy’s performance was the light at the end of the tunnel and the one redeeming feature, it was quite entertaining to watch him as he switches between the characters sometimes only depending on his tone of voice, facial expression and body language.
The movie does have a good end, but a good end doesn’t make a good movie, that is why it deserves the rating 5/10.