Film Reviews

M. Night Shyamalan’s Split

Want to watch a film that changes the way you look at James McAvoy? Then M. Night Shyamalan’s Split is just for you. The film is a physiological thriller/ horror, and let me tell you, I was on the edge of my seat for the hundred and seventeen minutes of the film.

The plot of Split follows three girls who get kidnapped by James McAvoy’s characters, which in my opinion I wouldn’t be opposed too. The film follows McAvoy’s character called Kevin Wendell Crumb, whose name the audience should remember as it’s crucial to the plot of the film, who suffers with Dissociative Identity Disorder, displaying his twenty-three personalities, but mostly only three of them appear more in the film which are: Dennis, Patricia and Hedwig. Dennis is the one that kidnaps the girls and is kept in line by Patricia. What can I say about James McAvoy wearing a skirt and pulling it off is just the icing on the cake about this film. In some scenes you can see similarities with Patricia to Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs character, Buffalo Bill.

But mostly the film follows the character of Casey Cooke, portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), and let me tell you she does an amazing job of being a ‘final girl’ in this film, and also she’s brilliant for crying on cue … wish I could do that! The other girls include Jessica Sula (Skins), and Haley Lu Richardson (The Edge of Seventeen).

The film starts with Claire’s (Richardson) birthday party ending and her dad offering Casey and Marcia (Sula) a lift home. Casey reluctantly accepts as she can’t get in contact with her Uncle. The girls head to the car whilst Claire’s dad puts the shopping in the boot. This scene brings up what is wrong with teenagers now and their addictions to technology, as once Claire and Marcia get in the car they’re on their phones; which allows James McAvoy’s persona of ‘Dennis’ to get in the car without them both noticing.

In the film you understand more about Casey’s character through flashbacks of her, her dad, and her creepy uncle. Izzie Coffey plays five-year-old Casey, (who is just so cute) and I give props to whoever did the casting for this film because I can see Coffey grow up into Casey’s character. The flash backs are basically Casey’s dad showing her how to use a hunting gun, which is severally worrying as who wants a five-year-old holding a gun? I certainly don’t. More reasons why America needs to get help. In the middle of the film the audience are greeted with another disturbing memory from five-year-old Casey, between her and her creepy uncle, portrayed by Brad William Henke. In this particular flashback Casey’s uncle, John, is trying to suggest to Casey to come ‘play’ with him. Many in the audience will have picked up and gathered the evidence about Uncle John. However, my twin, who I went to see the film with, did not understand the references. Just like her not knowing (after being on this planet for twenty-one years), the most iconic ending to Sixth Sense, which she finally watched in time as the week after one of our film professors ruined the ending for people who had not seen it.

However, even though the film has a dark tone throughout, it still has humour provided through it. The humour in the film is by one of Kevin’s personalities, Hedwig. At first, when I saw Hedwig in the trailer I thought they were going to address several Harry Potter references as, literally, he is a kid who could have grown up with Harry Potter. Or maybe M. Night was trying to be edgy with the names as so many parents are trying to be now, with some even calling their children after different fruits.

I know for a fact I was rooting for Hedwig throughout the film as he was one of the main personalities breaking past Kevin, ‘Patricia’ and ‘Dennis’ by being a genuine sweetheart. Throughout the film Hedwig starts to develop a crush on Casey, allowing her to use this as a way to escape her kidnapper. Luckily enough in their shared scenes together, Anya and James get to share some sweet moments throughout all the craziness of the plot. Like any school boy crush, Hedwig asks Casey if he can kiss her and she reluctantly agrees. I don’t know if you would call it a kiss more like a mouth touching passing of air feel to it, which the audience endures for what feels like forever, which is followed by Hedwig saying to Casey, “You might be pregnant now”, causing erupting laughter from the audience.

Finally, all I can say is when you see memes on the internet about being drunk the night before and you are blaming it on ‘Patricia’, your life will be complete. Also, you can appreciate your friends using the Facebook tagging to tag you, suggesting “all twenty-three of us really enjoyed it”.