Did M. Night Shyamalan Get His Touch Back with “The Split”?
Is M. Night Shymalan Back?
M. Night Shyamalan’s movie ‘The Split’ received a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, his best score since ‘Signs’, but is it as good? My short answer: No. I was hopeful heading into this movie based off it’s rating, but still very skeptical and for good reason. Shyamalan’s recent movie making history has been more like a graveyard, his movies die at the box office. Was this one really going to be different? ‘The Split’ is a thriller about a man with 23 different personalities who kidnaps three teenage girls. I’ll start with the main teenage star, Casey Cook, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. Her character is incredibly dull with an extreme back story in an attempt to give her more depth. You get the impression that she’s supposed to be the wiser of the three girls because she’s not making drastic escape attempts like the others. However, had she been more willing to help the other girls, things may have turned out better for the three of them. Soon you learn that James McAvoy’s character has captured these girls to be sacrificed and eaten by the newest alter ego, The Beast. They had been chosen because they haven’t had anything really bad happen to them in their lives (that he’s been able to observe?) and people who are broken are the “stronger and better people”. So he needs to eat these girls…yeah that makes sense. The story becomes a bit too ridiculous when James McAvoy’s character starts climbing the walls as if he’s Spiderman. Come on.
The Ruining of a Good Movie
In they end they tragically link M. Night Shymalan’s 2000 movie ‘Unbreakable’ to this one. Though ‘Unbreakable’ scored lower on Rotten Tomatoes at 68%, I would say it’s easily in his top three best movies next to ‘Signs’ and ‘The Sixth Sense’. In it, Bruce Willis’s character discovers that he’s less physically venerable than the average person. This movie is a subtle and realistic feeling superhero story. It’s not flashy, there’s no big discovery of power or super suit or anything like you see commonly in superhero movies now. Its focus is more on self discovery and family. ‘The Split’ is such a fantastical story and by linking these two movies, M. Night Shymalan’s ruining all of the reasons why ‘Unbreakable’ is such a good movie.
Did M. Night Shyamalan Get His Touch Back with “The Split”? No, this movie is a big eye roller and does not resemble the movies of his glory days. If you like a cheap thriller, you may enjoy this one. If you’re looking for anything beyond a cheap thrill, go somewhere else. I give it a 2 out of 5.