Split: Movie Review

Earlier this week I caught a screening of M. Night Shyamalan’s newest movie, Split, and couldn’t wait to see how this movie I’ve been excited to see for months, would turn out. I like to keep my movie reviews spoiler-free, so don’t worry about having any twists and turns spoiled. You’re safe here!

If you haven’t seen the movie trailer, here’s the quick 4-1-1 on the plot. James McAvoy plays Kevin (and Dennis, Patricia, Hedwig, and a whole slew of other personalities living in Kevin’s body), who suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID)/multiple personality disorder who kidnaps three teenage girls. While Kevin struggles to keep his 23 identities in check, a 24th is getting ready to break free – and it’s the worst of them all.

Split Movie Kidnapping

The film is positioned as a keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller scary movie, but actually, there wasn’t much of that at all. In fact, the theater (myself included) was laughing for a good portion of the nearly two hour movie. Of course there were a few suspenseful moments, but it wasn’t super creepy like M. Night’s The Sixth Sense or newer, The Visit. But there are definitely a few cringe-worthy scenes, so prepare yourself for those!

Split Movie Dennis

Overall, I thought Split was a pretty good film. And James McAvoy KILLED it playing all of the different identities! It took some time for me to process it all afterwards though, because there was A LOT of deep material in there. In particular, the tough character backstories, and just diving into the life of someone suffering from this incredibly complex mental disorder. Not to get off on a complete side tangent, but DID was always the most fascinating part of psychology class for me, so I felt like if they kept running with that storyline I would’ve been totally fine with it!

Split Movie Headwig

As with all M. Night Shyamalan films, there’s a little bit of a twist at the end. But nothing beat the last few seconds of Split for me (epic moment, you guys)! Obviously no spoiling here, but I will say, if you’ve seen M. Night’s earlier films, you’ll appreciate it!

Also, if you’re an M. Night Shyamalan fan, he just recently announced he’s going to do one more film before retiring. No word yet on what it’ll be, but you know it’s got to be one he’ll go out with a bang with!

Split Movie Poster

Split opens in theaters nationwide tomorrow! Are you planning to see it in theaters this weekend? What’s your favorite M. Night Shyamalan movie?

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  • This sounds interesting! DID is definitely interesting, I was always fascinated by cases like Sibyl’s!

    • Same! I liked that they brought a therapist into the mix in this movie too – so it shows things from the treatment perspective as well!

  • Sarah Jean

    I’ve been wanting to see this! I also heard James say the movie was funny too, which seemed so strange to me, but life is a mixture of scary and funny so makes sense a movie would be too

    • That’s true! I’m not sure why they keep advertising it as a scary movie, but I guess that also makes it more enticing for people to go see!

  • Split personalities always interested me a ton in Psych class too! I thought that this one looked like a sit on the edge of your seat thriller, but it’s good to know that there’s some comic relief in there too!

    • It does! I was really surprised at how much it wasn’t that. Nonetheless it was still a pretty good movie!

  • I love the fact that your review was spoiler free it made me want to watch even more.I took one psych class when I was a freshman in college and learn a bit about split personalities so I’m pretty interested in this turn out
    http://sheismelrose.net/

    • Thanks, Melody! They also showed a bit of the treatment side of multiple personality in the movie which I thought was really interesting!

  • Ahhh!!! I hate hate scary movies girl!! You are way braver than me. I love this post tho!!!
    xoxo
    Krista
    http://www.hundredblog.com

    • Haha, I think you could handle this one, Krista! It’s PG-13 and it was actually more funny than scary!

  • Ooooh this sounds so good! I’ve been really curious about it since I’ve seen the trailer but M. Night is so extremely hit or fail with me that I’ve been skeptical.

    • I know what you mean! I’m a huge fan of his earlier works but some of the later movies are a little tougher. There were a lot of interesting layers to this one – I think you might like it (with the exception of a few parts).

  • Aliza Hale Biorn

    This sounds so good! I’m a big James McAvoy fan, so I will probably see this soon. I hope it isn’t too scary though.

    • It wasn’t scary at all, to be honest! He really did a fantastic job with the role!

  • I’ve been really wanting to see this but I was worried it would end up being a tad too suspenseful for me but i’m really happy to hear it’s not that bad! Cannot wait to go see this.

    • Not at all! I think this is definitely one you could handle :) Hope you like it!

  • Isaly Fergg

    I have been wanting to see this! I am so glad that you reviewed it. I was a psych major so these movies always interest me. I will put this on my weekend to do list.

  • Part of me doesn’t want to see this because of the subject matter. But part of me really WANTS to see it because James McAvoy is such a great actor. I was spoiled with the ending, but it sounds AWESOME!!!! And definitely a nod to something awesome.

    • I felt a lot of emotions with the movie because of the subject matter! But you’re so right, James McCoy was incredible in it! I think overall it was well done!

  • That’s the thing about these M. Night Shyamalan movies, you never know what you’re going to get. The trailer was super scary!! So much that I didn’t know if I even wanted to watch it. Interesting to hear that it wasn’t nearing as scary as the teaser:)

    • Exactly! I think you’d definitely be able to handle it! So many people I know were not wanting to see it because it looked like it’d be insanely scary, but totally not the case!

  • I saw the movie at a pre-screening and LOVED it! The acting was top-notch and M. Night once again proves he has excellent screenplay skills (of which I think he is underappreciated by the industry). I would highly recommend this film. Viewers need to remember it is PG-13 and not rated “R.” The film is not meant to be “super scary;” but instead, makes you think!

    • It really does make you think! I felt like it was an emotional rollercoaster with all of the character developments + flashbacks!

  • Trish

    I just saw a trailer for this movie this week and have been wondering how it is. I enjoyed reading your review. I loved The Sixth Sense and also liked Unbreakable, so think I would enjoy seeing this too. I love the plot twists in M. Night’s movies.

    • Me too! I’m actually watching Unbreakable now :) I love M. Night’s older movies!

  • I’ve been wondering how this movie will be! I loved the trailer and thought it looked super scary, but after finding out the rating I figured it would be a little more toned down than what it looked like. I want to see it just for the DID psychology – I think that’s so interesting too!

    • That was what I was most interested in too! And yes – definitely toned down on the scariness factor compared to what was advertised!

  • rileyjoblog

    Oh man, I have been debating if it will be too scary for me!

    • Definitely not! It wasn’t anywhere near as scary as they portrayed it in the trailers!

  • Divya Budhraja

    I feel like mental health is such a murky field. Sometimes I wonder if movies that depict certain mental health issues are productive or if they further confuse people about it.
    At least one good thing about it is that it brings to light the challenges people face.

    • I think so too! There were definitely a few concepts that I want to research that were brought up in the movie. Not sure if they were true or just storytelling!

  • I’m planning to check this out! I’m always a little nervous when there are movies/books about mental health issues because I’m unsure how they’ll handle it. I enjoyed your review!

    • Thanks, Crystal! I was thinking the same thing. That last personality to be unleashed was a bit unsettling, but the rest was handled very well!

  • I really, really want to see this. I’m really passionate about mental health, so I’m interested to see how they portray this.

    • Same! I thought overall it was very well done on the mental health side of the storyline. The biggest struggle I felt was with that last personality to be unleashed that they tease in the trailers and up until the end of the movie. That’s when it got weird to me, but aside from that it was great!

  • We really want to see this! It looks so good.

    • I was so excited to see it too! I hope you guys like it!

  • Alexis Schroeder

    I’ve been wanting to see this!

  • I honestly don’t know if I’ll go and see it in theaters. I do love his earlier movies though!

    Alix | http://www.apintsizedlifeblog.com

    • Oh his earlier movies are the best! I’m actually watching Unbreakable right now, haha!

  • I really wanted to go see this because it looked good. That stinks that it was not as much as a thriller as they made it seem like. I may rent it on redbox when it comes out.

    • I think Redbox would definitely be a good option for it!

  • I love scary movies, but even the previews of this made me jump too much to go see it haha!!

    • They did a fantastic job with the trailer! It definitely wasn’t nearly as scary as they made it look!

  • I don’t know if I could sit through this one, but I do like M Night!

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal