I saw M Night Shyamalan’s new movie ‘Split’ a couple nights ago and I’m quite happy to say he’s definitely found his footing once again. I’d pretty much given up on him after ‘The Happening’ and then came ‘The Last Airbender’ and then ‘After Earth’ which I admit I never even gave a chance. However when he was given a small budget to make ‘The Visit’ I had a feeling that maybe, just maybe he’d deliver once again. I really enjoyed that one and liked that Night kinda took the gloves off and made a straight up fright flick. So Split was a movie I was pretty excited about for a while. If you’re a fan of his older movies you’ll most definitely like Split for different reasons, one of the strongest being James McAvoy’s performance as some one who suffers from extreme multiple personalities. 23 to be exact.
He’s clearly the star of the show here as he brings to life many of the strange & dangerous personas that threaten three teen girls he’s taken captive in a subterranean maze. The movie builds pretty nicely to an intense climax and Shyamalan’s skills are once again top notch in creating a chilling atmosphere that really could lead you anywhere by the film’s end. Also I was delighted to see Anya Taylor-Joy co-starring here she was great in “The Witch” and once again shines as the final girl here. I wouldn’t be surprised if she returns for Night’s next film too.
I also loved his take on the multiple personas and how maybe people with them and other “mental illnesses” are perhaps somehow more awoken than the average normal person. It’s a cool spin and the idea that there’s something supernatural going on in say another dimension with McAvoy’s character is an incredibly interesting idea. So yeah, Night brings some new ideas to the plate to ponder upon and I totally dig it. The best thing though about the movie is clearly the ending. Not a surprise though being we all know him for his twist, however the twist here is something a bit different than his usual style. It caught me fully off guard, something I didn’t think he could do anymore. It turns out that Split is actually a bit of a pseudo sequel to one of his best movies, Unbreakable.
It turns out that everything you saw in Split suddenly takes a completely different form in the last 30 seconds of the movie. It becomes ten times better and leaves you fully ready for ‘Unbreakable 2’ a movie Night has confirmed will be his next. Split turns out to be a nearly two hour origin story of a supervillain dubbed by the media as ‘The Horde’. This works quite well if you’re a fan of his early work and looking for a different superhero movie that’s more grounded in reality and at the same time shrouded in supernatural possibilities. I’m pretty stoked here that Night has made his comeback more than worthwhile and i can’t wait to see what the hell Bruce Willis’ character David Dunn has been up to all these years and if indeed he intends on tracking down McAvoy in the next movie. What about Mr. Glass? Is there a connection hidden inside of ‘Split’ somewhere? I think so & I’m excited again to see what Shyamalan’s got planned next!