M. Night Shyamalan’s “SPLIT”

Release Date: January 20, 2017
Running Time: 1 hour and 57 minutes
Rated PG-13
Grade: B+
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

I’ve never seen a case like this before. Twenty-three identities live in Kevin’s body.

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Claire is celebrating her birthday with her friends when her father insists that they drive the loner in the group named Casey to her home. Claire and her best friend, Marcia, are sitting in the back seat while Casey is in the front passenger seat. As Casey buckles her seat belt she notices that a stranger is sitting in the driver seat instead of Claire’s father. After beings drugged, the girls awake to find that they have been kidnapped. Casey’s nightmare is compounded by memories of her uncle’s behavior during hunting trips when she was a very young girl. However, this past trauma seems strengthen her ability to deal with the multiple characters that arrive during their capture. The stranger, who presents himself as “Barry”, makes routine trips to his therapist and insists that everything is fine despite Dr. Fletcher’s persistence that he is actually “Dennis”. They talk about his 23 different identities having their turn in the light and a potential 24th personality that hasn’t manifested yet. After a few sessions, Dr. Fletcher senses that something is seriously wrong so she pays “Barry” a visit with unfortunate results. She is able to get a message to Casey that just may be able to save her life before 24th identity emerges to bring suffering to those who have never suffered before.

He’s done awful things to people and he’ll do awful things to you.

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Director M. Night Shyamalan is back! When he released The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, he was predicted to become one of Hollywood’s greatest directors. Then came a few misfires over 15 years that we won’t even mention. In 2015, Shyamalan got back on track with The Visit so I was highly anticipating this film when the trailer came out six months ago. The story, also written by Shyamalan, is creative for a psychological thriller that capitalizes on a mental disorder. The only drawback is that their isn’t enough backstory to explain exactly how the main character developed 23 distinct personalities. Usually people, who are afflicted develop 2 to 4 alters but there is documentation of up to 100. Plus, even though this is Shyamalan’s longest film, there still isn’t enough time to see all 23 alters. This movie will stay with you long after you leave the theater due to James McAvoy‘s outstanding performance. He exquisitely transforms from character to character with the ease of a seasoned actor. What you see in the trailers is just the tip of the crazy iceberg. The tie-in to Unbreakable at the end was also a pleasant surprise. There is talk of another film so I’m already thinking of how Shyamalan can combine the two entertaining films. Make an appointment or just drop in to see this one!

– Movie Buffette

STARRING:
James McAvoy as Dennis/Barry/Patricia/Hedwig
Betty Buckley as Dr. Karen Fletcher
Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke
Haley Lu Richardson as Claire Benoit
Jessica Sula as Marcia
Sebastian Arcelus as Casey’s Father
Brad William Henke as Uncle John
Izzie Coffey as 5 Year Old Casey

About Laura McDonald

october, 2021

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