Split Movie Review: M. Night Shyamalan And James McAvoy Hit The Big Screen With A Win
Yesterday afternoon, my cousin and I headed to a showing of Split, M. Night Shyamalan newest thriller showcasing none other than James McAvoy. Two BIG names. Two names that I have continuously supported throughout the years. Sure, Shyamalan has had some controversy here and there – but that is what makes going to his films that much more exciting. You sit down and wonder what he has waiting for you. Will this one disappoint? Or will this one blow your mind?
Now, here’s the thing. I really don’t like writing movie reviews that are overwhelmingly positive because I feel that they overhype up the reader which – in turn- results in a MASSIVE LET DOWN at the end of the show. But I will say this, Split was enjoyable. Split made me want to go home and read up on multiple personalities – like thoroughly. Did you know before I majored in business, I was actually a psych major – focusing on abnormal psych? I was always fascinated with this side of the brain, but decided to switch gears once I found out how long it would take me to actually practice.I always knew I wanted to be a young mom and I made a choice – at a very young age – to put a family that I didn’t even have first and pulled out of my original career choice. 15+ years of education just wasn’t in the books for me…even though it was truly in my heart.
So, watching Split was fascinating. Frightening but fascinating. Even the initial kidnapping – that first scene. I was completely caught up in that moment because I wondered how I would have reacted at 16 or 17? Would I have been frozen with fear? Or would I have fought with all my life to get out of my car? I’m pretty sure it would have been the latter… because I wasn’t as sheltered as those three girls were. By 16, I lived through a few things that most 16 years old wouldn’t understand. Cracks. Armour. War wounds. Strength. Pain. Lessons. I suppose maybe that’s another reason why I enjoyed this movie so much. We learn that throughout the story, some characters are innately damaged – permanently wounded. And because of this, their entire beings have been altered. They are different. They are not like the others.
The psychologist in the film firmly believes that her patients have somewhat learned to access parts of their brains that “regular” humans cannot – and this is because they’ve all experienced trauma. Trauma has evolved them in a way that has made them more unique that “us.” I’m not really spoiling anything. It’s a small scene and won’t ruin anything before you learn it. But even hearing that concept made me want to pick up a book. Did you know people who suffer from multiple personality disorders have versions of themselves that might need glasses? Or have diabetes? While the others do N-O-T. It’s controversial of course. But how can that be possible? Really interesting.
Is there a lot of blood? Just a few scenes and they aren’t insane. It’s more of the waiting for it all to happen. I love horror movies – as you know. I am most afraid of movies like these – the ones that can actually happen. You can place me in a room and have me watch a dozen movies in a row about the devil and I won’t bat an eyelash. BUT – have me watch one movie about a neighbor who goes unhinged and kidnaps a little girl and I just about lose it. Actually, I tend NOT to watch those types of movies because I am too afraid to see those possibilities. Torture / Kidnapping – etc. — they really aren’t for me. Because that might ACTUALLY HAPPEN. Split felt a little too far fetched for me because it introduced a new element. What are the odds that someone housing 20+ personalities would find me and kidnap me after seeing this movie? Slim.
Anyway, the ending made me cry. James McAvoy made me cry! Damnit. I never pay for sappy movies yet I always end up crying in the theatres. Why does that happen!? I am a MESS – that’s why! A lot of people said the ending stunk – but I didn’t think so. I liked it.
There’s a twist that the Internet is up in arms about. I didn’t care at all about it. You can read all the blogs about the CONNECTION after you see the movie. Who cares? Not me. The movie can stand by itself without the help of anything else. No further press needed.
I kept thinking that if this was a different type of movie, Jame McAvoy would be up for something. He played so many different characters and so perfectly. He shifted – sometimes within seconds – with ease. From child to woman to designer to perfectionist to controller to child again. You saw it in his eyes, in the stiffness in his body, in his shoulders, in his soul. He became every single one of those personalities without any effort at all. And TRULY, if this wasn’t a horror/thriller, he might be up for a few nods. Maybe I’m overreacting. I promised you I wouldn’t oversell it. Ugh. I hope I didn’t. Did I just say that Jame McAvoy deserves an award in a post where I promised I wouldn’t oversell a movie? I suck.