Split tells the story of a young, antisocial teenager named Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy). When getting a lift home with two of her classmates, Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula), a stranger comes into their car... A stranger who ends up kidnapping them and trapping them in a secure, yet well maintained bunker in an unknown location. This stranger is known as Kevin (James McAvoy), although Kevin is just one of his 23 personalities. While being held hostage, the girls come face to face with several of them, some friends and some foes, an even more sinister personality threatening to come to the surface. This personality is 'The Beast,' and if The Beast arrives, things aren't looking too good for them.
All of the unrealistic aspects aside, Split takes the basic kidnapping thriller formula we've seen before and adds something unique to the table. The plot, at its basics, has been seen before, but the addition of a villain with split personalities adds extra dimension to this story. It goes from your run of the mill thriller to something a little more tense, exciting and original. There's a lot more flavour to it, and Shyamalan has a lot to work with. The personalities conflict with one another, leaving you unaware of which ones to trust, if there even are any.
Little is known about him at first, his creepy antics merely looming and posing as a potentially violent threat, but as the runtime flies on by, we learn a lot about him, especially through his relationship with Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley). Her character is there for no other reason than to provide information about Kevin to the audience, and I guess to let Kevin's personalities explain themselves, but it does this is an interesting way. A time consuming way, for sure, but a worthwhile one, and by the time we get to the spine tingling third act, her sub-plot becomes a little more relevant. It's executed to mixed, pace-crippling results, but better that than leaving her out of the picture entirely.
For as entertaining, suspenseful and fun as this film is, it manages to leave a bad taste in your mouth. Shyamalan is famous for his twist endings, and while Split's technical conclusion isn't necessarily a twist but more of an explanation, what follows is just baaaad. I'm not going to spoil anything, do not worry, but once the film has come to a close and everything seems to have wrapped up, an extra scene is played, and it's one that's not needed, out of place and laughably bad. I want to say it's a disappointing ending, but the ending itself is far from it. It's the tacked on extra scene that didn't need to be there, but unfortunately it is. It might work for some people, but for me and a lot of other people at the screening, it didn't.
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