Horror Review: Split (2017)

Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities. They must try to escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.

The name M. Night Shyamalan is very much a divisive one, but I plead that you please bare with me here.

Like many of you I heared the name M. Night Shyamalan and rolled my eyes, “Here we go again” I thought. The funny thing is that it’s easy to forget that he had a great start to his career but somewhere along the way it went off path.

Like his other films he has wrote and directed this and I can confirm that this film is a return to form he started with and shows that he is finally using the potential that he showed us he started with all those years ago.

The film itself jumps straight into it, no messing around, I’m glad it started like this because it has so much to go through that you get the sense he’s not trying to unnecessarily pad things out with unneeded scenes.

I will state this, James McAvoy gives us a career best performance and if he doesn’t get an oscar for it then it’s an absolute disgrace. Also the film has a brilliant ending that I think fans will like and I can’t wait to see where they go with it.

In my opinion “Split” is a must see, I haven’t said too much because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, don’t watch the trailer just watch go watch the film!

If you want to see the “Split” trailer then just click on the video below:

Miscellaneous facts about the film:

When Joaquin Phoenix and the production couldn’t reach a contract agreement, James McAvoy was cast in the lead.

M. Night Shyamalan stated that shooting this film was the most challenging of his career.

Despite Kevin having 24 personalities within him, only 8 are shown on screen.

Like Kevin (James McAvoy) in this movie, a real person by the name of Billy Milligan was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder with 24 personalities inside him. His condition was used in his defense for crimes he said was committed not by him but his other personalities.

In Kevin’s therapist’s house, you can see that one of the books on the library in the background is titled “Sybil.” This was the pseudonym given to a woman with sixteen personalities. There are two made-for-TV versions of the story: Sybil (1976) and Sybil (2007).

Director M. Night Shyamalan appears in the movie as Jai, the fast-food loving concierge of the apartment building where Dr. Fletcher works.

M. Night Shyamalan hired cinematographer Mike Gioulakis after seeing his work on It Follows (2014), and composer West Dylan Thordson after hearing his music on the TV show The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015).

At the AFI Fest screening, Betty Buckley referred to herself as “the crazy lady from The Happening (2008)”.

The forest shotgun scene very closely mirrors the kitchen gun scene in Unbreakable (2000). Many of the lines are exact quotes.

The 5th M. Night Shyamalan movie to gross more than $100m at the US box office.

This movie takes place in M. Night Shyamalan’s hometown of Philadelphia. Philadelphia Phillies stickers can be seen stuck to objects throughout the film.

James McAvoy broke his hand while filming on location in Philadelphia. He continued to perform his role for days before letting on that he was injured and finally sought attention at a local UrgentCare. As a result he was forced to work with an injury on the set of Atomic Blonde (2017) as well.

Will be the second film collaboration for M. Night Shyamalan and Jason Blum, the first one being The Visit (2015).
Sterling K. Brown played Professor Shaw and although his part was completely cut from the film his scenes appear on the DVD in the deleted scenes / extras section.

James McAvoy played professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men prequel trilogy. Professor X’s son in the comics, David Haller/Legion, is a mutant with dissociative identity disorder. Legion had its own on-screen debut in Legion (2017) the very same year “Split” had a wide release.

Inspiration for the movie, real-life multiple-personality Billy Milligan (February 13, 1955 – December 12, 2014), charged with three rapes, was the first person diagnosed with multiple personality disorder to use an insanity defense by reason of that disorder, and also first to be acquitted thus. Milligan had 24 personalities, consisting of 10 Desirables: Billy Milligan, Arthur, Ragen Vadascovinich, Allen, Tommy, Danny, David, Christene, Christopher, and Adalana; and 13 Undesirables: Phil, Kevin, Walter, April, Samuel, Mark, Steve, Lee, Jason, Bobby, Shawn, Martin, and Timothy; and The Teacher, a fusion of all of the other personalities.

Its not the first movie James McAvoy has multiple voices in his head. He also does as a younger professor Charles Xavier in X-Men prequels.

Haley Lu Richardson (Claire) and Jessica Sula (Marcia) had previously worked together on Recovery Road (2016).

Dr. Fletcher is also the doctor of Leonard Zelig of Woody Allen movie, Zelig (1983).

The names of the 23 identities are: Barry, Jade, Orwell, Kevin, Heinrich, Norma, Goddard, Dennis, Hedwig, Bernice, Patricia, Polly, Luke, Rakel, Felida, Ansel, Jalin, Kat, B.T, Samuel, Mary Reynolds, Ian, Mr. Pritchard. The 24th identity is The Beast

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