First off, this is a spoiler free review. I wasn’t a big fan of M. Nights previous film The Visit. You could read my review here. I felt that he has lost his touch as a director. While I thought the writing was decent, the overall film didn’t work for me. Split brings M. Night back to being the artist he was.
Split is a tale about three girls that are kidnapped by a man with 24 distinct personalities. They must find some of the personalities that can help them. While running away and staying alive from the others.
On its surface Split plays out like a Hitchcock type psychological thriller. But within its core there is another film. I am not going to get any deeper into this because I will be entering into spoiler territory. Let’s just say that M. Nights signature surprise ending makes a return and It’s an awesome reveal. His script and directing is on point. Everything that happens in the film has a reason and purpose. You might not realize why when it happens, but it all makes sense by the end. One issue I had was with the pacing. The films running time is 2 hours at least 15 minutes could have been cut out and it wouldn’t affect the narrative at all.
The main cast does a great job. From Anya Taylor-Joy to Betty Buckley they make the threat feel real and thrilling. But it’s James McAvoy that steals the show. Let’s just put it this way. If McAvoy didn’t nail it the way he did. It would have been a real mess. The way his performance changes for every personality is awesome. This is the type of role that if it isn’t executed properly, it would have made the film look more like a spoof or a comedy.
With a solid script and acting. Split is a thrilling return for M. Night.
3 1/2 hats out of 4