Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 74% (Critics) / 82% (Audience)
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan
Written By: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula and Betty Buckley
Studio: Universal Pictures
Synopsis: Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, and must try and escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th. – (Source)
The Good: James McAvoy was amazing in this film. The way he not only would change his voice but also make subtle changes to his physicality (from his posture to his gait to even facial ticks) was really impressive and made each of the alters feel and look like separate characters.
Anya Taylor-Joy complimented McAvoy’s bravura performance by giving her teen outsider a lot of depth that even without the flashbacks would have made the viewer wonder at what was just below the surface with her.
And to his credit M. Night Shyamalan did a bang up job creating a tense and at times frightening movie that seemed like an abduction horror tale but was actually the origin story of a new super-villain. The sleight of hand that he pulled off with this script and the really satisfying twist at the end made me look at every scene in this movie with a new eye upon re-watching it.
The Bad: I tend to give characters in films like this a bit of leeway when it comes to them making really dumb decisions but for Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley) to pay a housecall to a patient that she had the sneaking suspicion had been taken over by some of his more unhinged alters was just monumentally stupid.
The Ugly: Uncle John is the worst…Lil Casey should have put him down when she had the chance.
Final Verdict: A tight and suspenseful movie that featured a stellar performance by James McAvoy and some really tense scenes of claustrophobic terror. And while the “Big Shyamalan Twist!” was a pretty darn big twist, right up there with what we got in THE SIXTH SENSE in my estimation, but even without it this movie was really, really good all on its own. But the twist did make SPLIT all the better.