Firstly, don’t worry suspense fans, there will be NO spoilers here, you really need to go into an M. Night Shyamalan movie knowing only the basic premise. This rule has lasted his entire career from the heady days of The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable to his more recent triumph, The Visit.
Shyamalan is a love/hate storyteller, I was surprised having enjoyed Split that certain parts of the Internet were VERY ANGRY about it, but then I remembered that being angry is something that the Internet promotes and these people probably went into the movie ready to tear it down. Then again, the film does deal with some sensitive subjects. Even the title of the piece is a little sensational, being the tale of Kevin, who has 23 personalities keeping him safe from the rest of the world. But the film does not exploit the condition, quite the opposite, as his therapist is shown presenting her ideas about him to the entire medical world, trying to get more help for such conditions.
The film very much belongs to James McIvoy. He is mesmerising one minute, amusing another and then deadly and breathtakingly serious the next. His scenes very much resemble a stage play with the small and claustrophobic rooms in which much of it takes place.
When he kidnaps 3 teenage girls, you feel their horror through clever camera work and a grimy atmosphere, perhaps closest in style to the Buffalo Bill scenes of Silence Of The Lambs and yes, that is meant as a massive compliment.
Split takes a strange turn about an hour in, almost as if it wants to be clever rather than finish telling the story that it started, but you will still be left breathless by the excellent ending which…well, will remain a secret till you have seen it. I can wait…