‘Split’ falls short of expectations

Derby Roan, Managing Editor

‘Split’ is the newest film from horror/suspense director, M. Night Shyamalan. The film stars James McAvoy (Mr. Tumnus) as Kevin Wendell Crumb, a patient suffering from dissociative identity disorder (DID). It follows the story of three girls who are kidnapped and held hostage by the various personalities in Kevin’s body, from an OCD pervert to a nine-year-old kid.
In typical Shyamalan style, ‘Split’ was anything but predictable, and suspenseful right up to the moment that everything fell apart. While it was an exhilarating ride, it wasn’t an outright scary one. ‘Split’ draws its scare factor from humans themselves, not any supernatural forces. If anything from this movie keeps viewers up at night, it will be the fear of what human beings are capable of.
For a thriller, this movie has an extensive level of character development. The backstory of one particular captor, Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) is seen in flashbacks, and Kevin’s story is developed through conversations with his therapist. But, despite developing more complex characters, Shyamalan also seems to give a nod to classic slasher films with his inclusion of female vulnerability and gore. The other two captors (Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula) are half naked and their only interactions are of intimidation and fear for the last half of the film. And as for the gore… Well, spoilers.
Shyamalan’s previous filmography suggests that a certain level of crazy is to be expected. ‘Split’ meets that expectation head on. As in past films, he even wrote himself into the movie. This film is unmistakably Shyamalan, fitting his formula of suspense until chaos perfectly. But, much to my disappointment, it was missing a twist. The conclusion of the movie crashes all the way into the credits, and, for me, leaves something to be desired.
‘Split’ is well worth spending the money and time to watch. Just don’t expect this movie to change your life.

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