Split over Split: A Review
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
The latest M. Night Shyamalan thriller has its ups and downs. Starting out with a very brief exposition where a bunch of high school girls are enjoying a birthday party, the story quickly descends into horror when three of the girls are abducted by a man named Kevin, who suffers from multiple personality disorder. The rest of the story entails the girls’ struggle to break out, the main character’s flashbacks about her experiences with child abuse, and the kidnapper’s personalities fighting against each other.
While this movie is at times rather humorous (due to a childish personality named Hedwig, who really steals the show) it got pretty dark in some places and I found myself enjoying a nice horror movie. However, there was a hard-to-shake feeling that Shyamalan had turned out another disappointment, as this was naught but juvenilia targeted towards a teenage audience.
The plot, though hailed by many reviewers as taking many twists and turns, seemed rather predictable. The deaths were overdone and I felt a lack of sympathy for victims due to a dearth of connection built up with them. Furthermore, I was never truly scared throughout the film. However, at times the action was rather immersing and there were several gripping, edge-of-your-seat moments that really made the movie.
The abductor, played by Kevin McAvoy, was magnificent in his role, transitioning from sane to the brink of madness at the drop of a hat. Indeed, this role seemed to be in the actor’s forte, as his characters were always interesting and relatable.
However, the actresses portraying the three teenagers did nothing but scream and cry, and during these moments I felt like this was some B-rated horror flick not worth my time. A welcome addition to the story was that of the psychologist who was analyzing McAvoy’s character. She thoroughly explained some of the fascinating concepts proposed in the film and added some depth to the tale. In any case, there were some intriguing insights on Kevin’s disorders and how much psychology has yet to uncover.
There was some crass and unnecessary sexuality in the movie, including when the underage girls were forced to remove their shirts and when the protagonist was being abused. It felt like an extraneous and needless dramatization. The need for gore was understandable, due to this being a horror movie. Despite all this, the movie managed to remain on the brink of the PG-13 spectrum. Perhaps the movie is best for the niche audience of ages 15 to 18; that is in fact what the theatre’s patrons mostly comprised of.
The ending was as mixed in quality as the rest of the movie; it was curious to find out exactly where the girls were being kept the whole time but very annoying in that everything was so blatantly set up for a sequel. Still, I left the film with a combination of revulsion and satisfaction and am to this point not sure how I felt about it.
All in all, this was nowhere near Shayamalan’s best work (which was obviously The Sixth Sense) but is good enough for high school viewers. While not the best movie in the cinemas, you could do much, much worse than Split. Looking for your next horror movie? This could just be it…