From Producer, Writer and Director M. Night Shyamalan, Split is a riveting thriller about one man (James McAvoy) trying to balance a life in which 23 distinct personalities fight for control of “the light”.
The story begins when Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy) and friends Marcia (Jessica Sula) and Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) are abducted by Dennis, one of the more hostile and disturbed personalities of Kevin Wendell Crumb. The three are trapped in a basement room, where they have front-row seats to several of the personalities with very different interests and intents.
As the story evolves, viewers learn about the interrelationships between Kevin’s personalities and the impending arrival of “The Beast” through his sessions with psychiatrist Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley). Pieces of Casey’s own back story begin to play out as well, establishing the bond Kevin and Casey share.
The evolution of Split is very similar to other M. Night Shyamalan stories. The filmmaker has a knack for telling intricate tales in very peculiar settings. It is challenging enough for a talented actor to learn and portray one compelling character. McAvoy shows his prowess by portraying several of the 23 personalities, each of whom has a distinct character, voice and demeanor. Anya Taylor-Joy is strong as well, quickly establishing her character as the take-charge leader among the trio of friends.
While the look and feel of Split are quite familiar to fans of other Shyamalan classics like The Village and The Sixth Sense, the ending is a bit more straightforward. Fans of his other films will still find the movie and conclusion effective; those who might have found his other endings underwhelming may enjoy Split more.
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Actors: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: April 18, 2017
Run Time: 117 minutes