Last Friday (20th) was the release day of M. Night Shyamalan’s new film, SPLIT. I was super excited to see it and was not disappointed.
The film is based on Kevin, a man with an extreme case of dissociative identity disorder (DID), harbouring 23 personalities with a 24th on the rise. When one of the personalities kidnaps three young girls, his 24th personality, nicknamed ‘The Beast’, is said to ‘do awful things to people, and he’ll do awful things to you’.
The main pleasure for me was seeing how well James McAvoy displayed the different personalities. Being interested in psychology, I have seen a couple of real cases documented and it’s truly an incredible disorder. It’s clear when somebody switches to a different personality by their face, voice, movements etc. and I think McAvoy does this wonderfully and consistently. Eventually I could tell just by his facial expression which character he was portraying.
I was also very happy with the storyline. Sometimes I can get frustrated with the way thrillers/horrors take a while to get to the point – typically the first twenty minutes of “Hello everyone, look what a nice normal family we are” just so you know this can happen to anyone. But SPLIT gets right down to it – point being the people it is happening to. Overall I thought it was easy moving, every scene served a purpose and was interesting to follow. There was also some depth to the story without it becoming confusing or distracting – and although a little sad, definitely avoided becoming a sop story which I was happy about. If I go to see a thriller, I want to see thriller!
I also really liked the character of Casey. What interested me most was the parallel pasts of Kevin and Casey, which are touched on briefly. However the characters have clearly handled things differently, leading Casey to be a victim and Kevin to be a criminal. Not to give anything away, but the film does touch on some dark issues more so than the trailer suggests.
One last thing to say – four of us went to see the film together and ALL left with a different idea about the end. Actually I have just looked up the meaning of the ending and we’re all wrong! Turns out it contains a reference we didn’t understand, but if you are a Shyamalan fan you may get it. ALL I’M SAYING.