MMT Quick Review of SPLIT

Split

After his success with 2015’s hit The Visit, M. Night Shyamaylan returns with his latest thriller SPLIT, which features a dynamic performance by actor James McAvoy. The film tells the story of Kevin, a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder (commonly referred to as Split Personality Disorder) and a total of 23 separate identities – that is until a dangerous and murderous 24th forms, “The Beast,” which causes a few of Kevin’s personalities to gather in a “horde” and rebel against the others by kidnapping three young women in anticipation of The Beast’s arrival.

Before discussing the film any further, I do want to acknowledge that there are some in the mental health community, both professionals and those living with disorders, who are not happy with the portrayal of Kevin in this movie. Many of the complaints I’ve read center around it being another cinematic display of a dangerous or villainous person with mental illness. Although I certainly hear and understand the logic behind the uproar, and don’t want to discount anyone’s validity where an illness is concerned, I would lean more towards their upset if this film pretended to be anything more than the campy, “supernatural” thriller that it is – but it doesn’t. And no one should walk into an M. Night film expecting to be educated on the cause and effect of any disorder – medical or otherwise.

That being said, James McAvoy is really phenomenal as Kevin, and the at least five other personalities we get to see him transform. And although I refused to write about “The Witch,” yes this scaredy cat did screen it but thought better of reviewing since I had nothing nice to say – scratch that, it was very authentic period wise, dialect, costume etc, better? Anyways, Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, Morgan) was fierce as the fight-back spirited Casey, one of the kidnapped trio.

And Philadelphia, and its surrounding areas, as an unofficial character always displays nicely on the big-screen. It’s a pleasure to see local areas like 30th street station, the parkway and the oldest zoo in the nation, The Philadelphia Zoo, shone brightly. And appearances by CBS3 anchor Ukee Washington and actor/writer/producer Nakia Dillard (The Wire, Night Catches Us) also give a nice authentic Philly feel.

So is “Split” scary? Not spooky, but it’s chilling enough at its core – albeit there are slow moments as the film builds by showcasing Kevin’s various personalities and a few interactions with his psychiatrist Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley). There is also a gore factor once it truly gets rolling, that may freak out the squeamish – one lady sitting in front of me at the Philly screening had to bury her head in her partner’s shoulder several times!

If you’re a fan of Shyamalan, and like several of his prior works, you’ll find Split interesting and fun at the very least. And of course fans of Unbreakable are going to love a special reveal at the end – please no spoilers in the comments for this one!

To sum it up, I found “Split” to be entertaining, although slow at parts, with great performances and a fun ending that maybe sets up a sequel (?) or a… never mind no spoilers so I’ll leave it there! It’s definitely not on par with The Sixth Sense’s savviness, but it’s not a bad follow-up to The Visit and just as fun once it gets going.

Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this one family, so stop back and leave a comment or two once you see it. SPLIT opened nationwide in theaters today.

Until next thought, Thomasena

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening for SPLIT on Tuesday, January 17 (Philly, PA)

Split

Happy Tuesday MMT Fam! I am so excited about this next giveaway, as I have been waiting to screen this film since I first saw the trailer a few months ago! We’ve acquired 30 admit-two passes for the Philly advanced screening of SPLIT, the M. Night Shyamalan film starring James McAvoy.

Want to put your name in the hat to win a pass? You must be subscribed to this website and send an email to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com with the subject line “split” and your full name in the body. Thirty winners will be selected at random and notified on Sunday, January 15. And if you also follow MMT on Facebook, you will double your chances of winning!

I’ll definitely see the winners at this one! I love M. Night and if this is anything like the classic thrillers Raising Cain or Identity, which feature characters with dissociative identity disorder (what some still refer to as “split” personality), or even Frailty it should be one good ride!

You can read the synopsis and watch the trailer below, and get additional info about the film at the official website here. SPLIT opens in theaters nationwide on January 20.

Good Luck Family!  Thomasena

SPLIT synopsis

Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs with Split, an original thriller that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind.  Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the film.

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being. 

Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others.  Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

For Split, Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit, the No. 1 – grossing horror film of 2015.  Their fellow collaborators include producer Marc Bienstock and executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.

 

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening of THE VISIT on Tuesday, September 8 (King of Prussia, PA)

The Visit (photo: Universal)

Happy Thursday MMT Family! Well September 4th is our official four year anniversary, and we are celebrating with a great giveaway! We’ve acquired 50 passes to an advanced screening of the new M. Night Shyamalan movie THE VISIT for next Tuesday, September 8 in King of Prussia. Now it should go without saying that this giveaway is for website subscribers only – especially considering it’s our anniversary and we appreciate all of the support our subscribers have shared!

Want to put your name in the hat for an admit-two pass? Send us an email to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com with your name in the body and the subject line “The Visit.” Winners will be selected at random and notified no later than Monday, September 7.

THE VISIT opens everywhere in theaters on September 11. You can watch the below trailer and get additional info about the film at the official website here.

Good luck everybody!