2 Reviews/One Movie
Starring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, M. Night Shyamalan, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula, Brad William Henke, Betty Buckley
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
2017 / 117 Minutes / Universal Pictures
First Review by Brent R.
Going into this I thought maybe this movie would redeem M. Night Shyamalan and he may have made a great movie again like The Sixth Sense or Unbreakable. Sadly no. I hated this movie and put it right up there with his batch of terrible films. I don’t understand how he continues to get more chances.
Split has a great premise and starts off intriguing and creepy as 3 young girls are kidnapped by a man with 24 different personalities (but don’t get too excited, there’s only enough time to allow for 4 or 5). It quickly veers off course moments later as nothing exciting or thrilling ever occurs. There are no edge of your seat moments here. The god awful humour made me cringe. Everything stays surface here and never delves the deep into these personalities. How come I’m not seeing his past, but I have to learn all about one of the girl’s and why she’s such an outsider, why can’t she just be the way she is without having gone through the awful events of her childhood… Oh that’s why (No Spoiler here don’t worry, it’s not interesting enough to spoil).
M. Night Shyamalan is trying way too hard and it’s painful to watch. I’m sorry but you sir are no Hitchcock. Some of the framing of the shots trying to look and feel all Hitchcock was laughable and ridiculous. I really don’t care for his style and I really can’t stand that he puts himself in every movie. It’s obnoxious!
There was one bright light in this horrible movie and that was James McAvoy. His performance was fantastic! Even shockingly enough… award worthy. He portrayed all these personalities perfectly, I believed he was each of them. This fantastic performance sadly is in an absurd and truly awful movie and it’s a shame and a waste.
I would have loved for Split to be more like a Silence of the Lambs type film and really go for it. Leave the fantasy and kids fluff out and be gritty. This terrific idea is unfortunately destroyed by Shyamalan and like his last decade of movies a total disaster. I hated this movie and it made me angry leaving the theatre knowing that he’s going to get another chance at making another terrible movie. It’s only January and I already have a contender for worst film of 2017!
Second Review by Elise M.
*Sigh* Where do I begin? I can’t say that I’m disappointed in M. Night Shyamalan because I knew the potential for this to be a disaster. I’m mostly disappointed in myself for holding out any hope that Split would be a good film. A lot of people in the horror community loved his previous venture into the genre with The Visit (personally, I despised it) so I’m not sure what I was expecting.
I know we’re only a few weeks into 2017, but I can definitively say that this is the worst movie of the year. As someone who writes scripts that will probably never get made, the fact that M. Night keeps churning out garbage yet keeps getting chances over and over and over again really stings. This man CANNOT WRITE. His scripts are infantile, out of touch and amateur at best, and offensive at worst. He tries to write comedy and jokes that are so absurd and outdated; like, I don’t know what decade this dude is living in. The ONLY positive point to this film was James McAvoy’s incredible performance. He is truly a very talented actor and his transformation from one character to another was awesome.
I’m going to get a wee bit spoilery here; I’ll try not to be too specific, but skip this paragraph if you still want to watch this steaming turd. I had a lot of issues with the film overall but there were a few plot points that really pissed me off. I’ve had enough of the lazy “trope” that a woman’s motivation to survive can only exist if she’s been sexually abused. To use this tactic as a way to encourage sympathy from your audience when it has absolutely no reason to be in the story is cheap and disgusting. I also have a huge problem with the idea that “people with mental illness are inherently dangerous, maybe they should just kill themselves.”
My main issue with Split? Shyamalan himself. Of course he has to be in the movie like he’s Alfred fucking Hitchcock with his gheri curl looking wig stolen from the set of Curly Sue. His directional style is equivalent to a film school student who’s seen Psycho too many times. There is no tension here. I never once feared for any of the characters and by the end I didn’t even care. I will never, ever watch another M. Night Shyamalan movie EVER AGAIN.