By Erik Brandt
The trend for the last few New Years have always been starting off pretty shitty. Either a loved celebrity dies just as the New Years Eve ball is dropped or your least favourite person becomes a leader; it’s just a shit show and an indicator of things to come. But it doesn’t have to be.
The month of January is no stranger to being one of the poorest scoring months for mediocre movies. Classics like Resident Evil: Final Chapter, Triple xXx: Return of Xander Cage and The Bye Bye Man were among the steaming pile of turd that came out during that uncertain time of the year. But sometimes a rare film comes along that lets you forget all that and gives you hope for the future. That silver lining was called Split, a film by M. Night Shyamalan.
WARNING❗️❗️❗️: DRUG SPOILER ALERT BELOW ⛔️💊💊💊⛔️
I’ll try to be as vague as possible with this one, but here’s some friendly advice: DON’T BRING YOUR KID(S) TO AN R-RATED MOVIE. I personally witnessed a poor soul was crying the Hudson River when the credits rolled. He must’ve been between 9-12 years old. My dad took me to see The Exorcist Directors Cut re-release in 2001 when I was 11 years old so the empathy was real.
Moving on, this is definitely a movie made for adults and fans of his earlier works. M. Night had a dry spell since Signs came out with more misses than hits. I mean there were articles on him after Signs came out, suggesting the next Steven Spielberg was to come. But his style is very different from Spielberg’s. Soon after The Visit came out, M. Night just kept pushing out poor stories with bad actors and unbelievable scenarios. The Happening was probably his lowest. On the contrary, Split marked his comeback. This is the M. Night we know and love from the late 90’s, early 2K’s. This is his return to form and the “personality” we like the most…
James McAvoy, who you all know from the new generation X-Men movies, as Charles Xavier is the lead. His character is one of many, because he has a personality disorder and it’s no easy feat to channel so many characters in every scene. But McAvoy does this with such grace and pure talent. Every scene he appears in is his. Next, we have Anya Taylor-Joy, who previously debuted in The Witch. She’s fantastic in this movie too. She plays a character with a troubled past, which after seeing her story, it all makes sense why she’s stronger and calmer than her two friends, who has also been abducted. Ana and McAvoy share a great chemistry together throughout the transformation of all his characters. Speaking of which, McAvoy pulls off various personalities that each seem separate from the rest. He can channel a little boy who’s in grade school, that loves to dance; or a middle-aged woman with an obsession for Asian culture. He even does this in one take several times throughout the movie and it’s just so fascinating to watch. If this doesn’t win him an Oscar, then the show is rigged.
Now there are some plot holes about characters and scenarios in the movie but nothing to discredit its addiction. It certainly needs to be seen a few times to fully take in the story, and it’s a damn near basically perfect movie. As a comeback storyteller, M. Night definitely shun a light back on the horror genre with Split. Watch Unbreakable at some point if you haven’t already; because the ending to this movie is so brilliant and it works on every level, leaving a fully satisfied craving.