Going to watch an M. Night Shyamalan movie in the cinema, not knowing what to expect, is kind of scary. And I don’t mean because of the twist he likes to add in the end; more the fact that not all is movies are watchable at all. With Split, I am in two minds…
Just a short while ago I thought Andrew Garfield is annoying. But compared to James McAvoy… well I’d still not quite give him an Oscar.
All in all, Split isn’t Shyamalan‘s worst movie, but not even close to his best either. It’s fairly simple, I having seen that the budget was around $100 million, I cannot see where that money has gone. I didn’t think McAvoy was great at all, but Anya Taylor-Joy definitely was, and she was an absolute pleasure to watch. Especially those amazing eyes and that stare. Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula where ok, but their roles didn’t give them much room to play with, and they end up trying hard not to be just extras with a few lines.
There was something similar to 10 Cloverfield Lane in Split, and also a lot of ‘Hitchcockian’ aspects (spoilers). But James is no Anthony Perkins. And Split easily misses the mark when it comes to suspense. I would not want to compare this movie to the likes of Psycho anytime soon.
The beginning of the film, and the background story/stories that we learn while the movie is happening (like Happening – another M. Night Shyamalan movie, where simply nothing happened), ties loosely with the movie, but really seems out of place, predictable and not very credible.
I wasn’t really expecting a Sixth Sense style twist in the end, but to me the ending seemed more silly than a twist. But I can see where Shyamalan is going with it, and being both writer and director, I suppose he can do whatever he wants, he has the artistic licence.