Long story short, I loved this movie. Now I’m not a deep M. Night Shyamalan fan, I have barely seen his movies and have little to no experience with his style, I saw the Visit which was great and The Happening which is pure doo doo cakes. I walked in this movie with medium expectations, for a frame of reference, I hate watching trailers. They’re more misleading than a McDonalds commercial (why does my Junior chicken look so merked?) when I saw the trailer for Split, I was shocked by the originality and the concept of The Beast. Here is a film that tackles mental issues at it’s core but dresses up as a horror movie, spoiler alert…It’s not scary. It’s an edge of your seat psychological thriller, and to be real those are easily ruined or greatly formulated. Shyamalan did not disappoint, the characters were onions that had to be pealed back and despite what you see, Kevin (dude with 24 personalities) is the protagonist as opposed to the 3 kidnapped girls. It’s really a story that is clear yet oddly mysterious, a film that is disturbing as well, some of these scenes will cause nightmares. You’ll be on the edge of your seat thinking (or saying) “what the fuck did I just watch?” and to be honest I like that. You’ll like it too. Why do I say this? Because most movies these days are recycled themes and trops, legit you get the same superhero movies following the same plot or you get trash remakes (Power Rangers). Here we see a movie that reminds me of The Gift directed by Joel Edgerton where the twists and turns are unexpected, grotesque and refreshing. James Mcavoy did an amazing job (shout out Hendrik) and so did Anya Taylor Joy. Give it a 4.5/5 Don’t read after this part, I’m talking spoilers and a critical analysis of those ending
fam i’m dead serious…these are spoilers that will ruin the movieyou sure?
Now the ending where we realize he is lives in the bottom of the zoo is something that puts everything together, we start to understand why he (Kevin) often talks about animals in his split personalities. You get the idea that he is also caged, which ties in the reoccurring theme of keys and locks. This really opened my eyes in the penultimate scene where “the beast” persona literally opens up the cage that Casey has locked herself in and he notices that she suffers from cutting and self harm. It is eluded that this is from her sexual abuse at the hands of her uncle since she was 9 or 10. When the beast sees this he suddenly qualifies her as “pure”, why? Because he values traumatized mental victims because he also is one and he is also trapped in that inescapable cage. There are scenes where Casey could have killed Kevin or even taken control of the situation but you get the sense that she is also interested in understanding him (especially when Hendrik comes out). Apparently this movie is linked to another one of M. Night’s older films (Unbreakable) and I plan to see it and connect the dots. The supernatural sub-plot/twist is proper and very very interesting but this sub-theme of being trapped in a cage of your own trauma really elevated this movie for me. That’s why I gave it such a strong and high recommendation.