Divided Feelings Over “Split” Movie


Google Images

Show times for “Split” at the Cedar Park Cinemark.

Avery Deen, Reporter

So you’ve probably heard of “Split” by now. In fact, most people seem pretty tired of hearing about it. Ads for the new horror thriller have played countless times on youtube and television for the last few weeks, driving many who despise the genre to hate hearing “twenty-three personalities live inside of Kevin…” However, while others were irritated, I was intrigued. From the first trailer I saw, the plot interested me and I told my mom we just had to go see it.

Well, we did. And though one of the best things about horror thriller’s is mocking the ridiculous things that the heroes and heroines do in their attempts to escape the kidnapper/murderer/etc. However, “Split” is by far the most insanely ending movie I’ve seen in a long time.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, from the beginning, shall we?

So, if you’re a hermit who has managed to avoid the trailer playing from every available outlet, the plot of “Split” is that three girls are kidnapped by a man with severe multiple personality disorder. The problem being that the more violent alters- the ones meant to protect them all in case of dangerous situations- have taken control and are doing horrible things, like kidnapping. The ads hinted at the major plotline with the whole “and the twenty-fourth will be released…” but what the trailer doesn’t tell you is that the twenty-fourth personality is a literal monster reminiscent of the Hulk. Only, Bruce Banner doesn’t need to “devour the untainted.”

I have to say, the first hour or so of the movie was amazingly well done. The acting on behalf of James McAvoy was stunning to watch as he fully took on each of the different alters, sometimes switching between a child and a middle aged man in the span of a single scene. The actual girls were a bit less loveable. It’s pretty obvious from about ten minutes in that two of the three are side characters, and that they either won’t make it to the end of the film, or will have to be saved by the main girl, Casey Cook (Anna Taylor-Joy).

For the entire first half we watch the goings on of the girls as they interact with the three main alters: Dennis, a middle aged man with OCD and also the star of the show, Patricia, a woman who goes from kindness to “I will cut you” in five seconds flat, and Hedwig, the nine year old who you have a hard time taking seriously because of his childish antics, and because he’s named after an owl from “Harry Potter.” The girls receive cryptic messages from all three altars about “The Beast” who will supposedly devour all of them in the second half. Not much of a plot twist ending when you say it’s going to happen through the entire first hour of the film, is it?

Spoiler Alert: The Beast is real and we get to see a lovely scene of Kevin walking onto a subway train that is inexplicably empty and going through his painful hulking out transformation. The Beast is straight out of a comic book, with rough (but not impenetrable) skin, super strength, and the ability to climb walls. I know I was supposed to be scared as he (predictably) ate two of the girls and then chased Casey through the compound, but the whole time I was too stuck in that “what the heck” moment to be anything but confused. I had been hoping for some big reveal, like that his psych was right and the beast wasn’t real, it was just him trying to excuse his actions. But no, they decided it would be better for him to turn into some kind of monster who was like a less scaly Killer Croc from “Suicide Squad.”

There’s also no shock value in the fact that Casey gets away in the end. What’s most surprising about the entire chase scenario is that though she was an experienced hunter with a loaded shotgun and an order to kill, she did not euthanize The Beast. Sure he let her go, realizing she had a traumatic past and was thus one of the “awakened” and not fit to be devoured, but why wouldn’t she take him out anyway? For the good of society!

All in all, “Split” is good for two hours of mindless entertainment, but if you’re looking for a legitimate psycho-thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat, don’t look to this movie. I’d give it a solid 6/10 stars for the acting and the quality of the first half of the movie, but I am just too disappointed with the way they handled the plot to give it anything higher.