When three girls are kidnapped by a sinister stranger with twenty four different personalities, they’ll have to work out which one of his alter egos might be their only chance of escape. What are his plans for the captives and which personality will you meet next?
More importantly, is it any good?Let me preface this review by saying that I watched this film in a screening where everyone was cracking up in all the wrong places. Including one loser who thought we needed his running commentary (and yes, I did tell him to shut up). I only mention this because of the accolades that the film has received, even from my fellow reviewer Jordan (check out his review at the bottom of the page).Written and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, Split is the story of Kevin, Jade, Dennis, Hedwig and Barry (to name but a few) all played expertly by James McAvoy. Almost instantly you believe that he has all of these different personalities living inside of him. Unfortunately it’s not enough to carry the entire movie. It’s a great premise with a lack of any real story, think 10 Cloverfield Lane meets Identity.
“The whole thing feels like an extended X-Files episode, and not one of the good ones either.”
What makes it even more frustrating are the missed opportunities with characters and conflicts that are never really allowed to play out. What we get instead are people sitting around talking and explaining. Keep an eye out for a particularly thrilling Skype conference call. It sets up the premise at the start and then keeps explaining his condition. Explain his condition, see his condition, explain, see, repeat. The whole thing feels like it was made in the 90’s, like an extended X-Files episode, and not one of the good ones either.The most interesting thing about this movie is that it’s set in the same universe as one of M.Night’s other films (which you won’t find out until the very end). Split feels like his first draft and no one has told him to cut the fat, which is made abundantly clear by it’s running time of two and a half hours. I love a mixed genre film but Split has multiple personalities all of it’s own as it flips between thriller, psychological drama, comedy, monster movie and scream queen slasher.
Split is currently in Australian cinemas