I rarely sit through horror movies nowadays (which is why I chose to skip “The Bye Bye Man” and “Underworld: Awakening”), but M. Night Shyamalan’s next thriller “Split” is one I’m curious to understand.
It’s premise: a man with multiple personalities, including a 9-year-old and a germophobic, is preparing to unleash his most devious persona: the Beast. And his victims are three teenage girls, who find it difficult to escape when this character or this character or this character is around.
James McAvoy stars as Kevin, the man with multiple identities, and he is very good at portraying his different personas. Anna Taylor-Joy plays one of his victims, Casey, who reflects on her childhood, leaving her the shy teen she is now. She gives a much better performance than in “Morgan.” Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula play her more social friends, who think they know how to escape, but atlas have failed to do so. And Betty Buckley shines as Kevin’s psychiatrist, who constantly receives his emails about emergency sessions, and knows how the human brain can change a person’s body chemistry.
The movie isn’t as scary as you expect it to be, but at the very least, it isn’t a generic jumpscare movie. It deals with personal issues, as well as the true nature of what a person can possess. Each persona is riviting and well-acted, thanks to McAvoy. And seeing what his Beast looks like is the same deal as figuring out what Mark Hamill now looks like as Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars: the Force Awakens.”
I think I know what Shyamalan’s twist is, but I can’t tell you. I could be wrong, but if you see it, you can correct me. So, if you want quality horror, than you better split to see “Split.”