So, Did Split (2017) Suck? [Spoiler Free]

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1.22.17 11:23am

Hello everyone.

As you may know, I recently got to see Split. Since I’m currently not doing any movie reviews on the channel, I figured I’d talk about it here.

On to the big question: Does Split suck?

If you want my opinion–no. In fact, I actually really liked it. I’ve never been much of an M. Night fan, but if he keeps in this direction, then I’m excited for what he has in store.

Split is one of those movies that you really have to lose yourself in to enjoy. You can’t sit there nitpicking at every detail–that would just ruin it. The premise is very much rooted in real life, but don’t forget that it is fiction, and can venture off into some weird territory when needed. Split is a subtle, quiet film. You never once actually see any graphic violence, yet somehow the scenes still manage to get under your skin. It sort of felt eerily graceful, in a way.

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James McAvoy was absolutely amazing as our antagonist, Kevin–and I’m not just saying that. I mean this guy really outdid himself. I don’t think there are many young actors in Hollywood today who can pull off what he did for that character. Each time a different personality manifested itself, he sold it. I believed in every single one of them, even the child you see in the trailer. If I had to describe his performance, I’d put it as something along the lines of how Heath Ledger handled the Joker. I could watch those two characters on-screen for hours without feeling . I will admit that McAvoy’s performance wasn’t as strong as Ledger’s, but then again, I’m not entirely sure that any others are either.

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As you probably know from the trailer, Split follows three teenage girls who were abducted by McAvoy’s character. The other two girls do play their parts in the story, but the main focus is on Casey, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. I had originally seen her as Thomasin from The Witch, so when I saw that she was going to be in Split, my hopes for the movie went way up. This girl has this amazing vulnerability to her, while at the same time being able to portray strength. That’s exactly what the character of Casey in Split needed. I can’t go into any spoilers, but her character is indeed troubled, and carries a ton of baggage. There were little things about Casey I noticed early on, and at first, I figured it was just coincidence because I didn’t think M. Night would be that detail driven. But, I was wrong. These little things Casey did made it clear to me what she had been through. It’s not all pointless back story to help you feel sorry for her either. It all comes together at the end.

And that ending–it had my heart racing. Again, not just saying that. I left the theater smiling. Because I know you’re all wondering, yes, Split does have a twist ending. It definitely worked way better than all of his other post-Sixth Sense twists. I don’t even want to hint at anything at the risk of spoiling it. Just know that the twist isn’t over the top, nor does it ruin the movie, I promise.

Complaints

At the risk of sounding like a newly converted fan girl–I can’t think of any. There were small things, but nothing that ultimately ruined the experience for me.

I will warn you that Split isn’t for everyone, and is definitely a slow burner. It’s also important to not go in expecting a horror movie. It isn’t one. Just go in and let the movie take you where it wants to. I also want to point out that if you’re able to relate to the characters, then you’ll obviously like this film more. If not, then it may not be as impactful as some are making it out to be. Simple as that. Different movies connect with different audiences. Still, I’m going to highly recommend that you give Split a chance, and make sure to let it speak for itself.

Offensive?

I was going to rant about people who think this movie is offensive, but I won’t. My only request is that you watch the movie before you label it. How can you talk down an art piece you never gave a chance to? Saying something you haven’t seen is offensive proves that you’re talking out of your ass. If you watch it and still think it’s offensive, then I respect your opinion. As you may know from this blog and other things I’ve posted over the years, mental illness is something I’m very close with. I think Split handled it in a way I can almost describe as beautiful, but that part doesn’t come in until the end. I was almost in tears.

Anyway, these are my thoughts on Split. Give it a chance if you’ve got the time. Have a great day.

-Reign

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4 thoughts on “So, Did Split (2017) Suck? [Spoiler Free]

  1. I’ll respect your positive thoughts on this movie, ReignBot, since you’re still a good person. And, I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen the movie myself. However, I can tell just by reading the premise and watching some of the trailers that regardless of whether someone has seen it yet, there are good reasons as to why a lot of people would instantly label it as offensive. Let me explain. And yes, I AM going to have to discuss spoilers, so those who are reading this might want to stop.

    I’ll start off with this before I state my questions/criticism: So, basically the 24th personality, “The Beast”, is not only the most lethal of Kevin’s identities, but also has, and I quote the Wikipedia page, “superhuman speed, strength, durability and the ability to climb walls, directly analogous with several predators in the animal kingdom”. That right there is an inaccurate, and to some people insulting portrayal of a mental illness such as dissociative identity disorder.

    It is 2017. Most people should know by now that mental illnesses like dissociative identity disorder DO NOT give people superhuman strength and invincibility. More importantly, we should also know by now that people with DID usually don’t have an “evil” side to them, especially an “evil” side that kills people for fun. Sure, in real life, there are mentally ill people who are unstable enough to commit such crimes, and I understand that’s very much the case with some of Kevin’s personalities. However, if the director is portraying DID like this in a horror movie just for the sake of horror, then of course people would be offended by it, especially those with DID themselves, but I’ll save that for the end.

    Now, for some criticism. Instead of giving Kevin DID, why not have it be that Kevin is actually a supernatural being disguised as a human? Like a shape shifting demon of some sort, and all of the personalities would just be the demon physically changing itself into other people? Sure, demons may be cliched nowadays, and having that would erase Kevin’s backstory, but even something as simple as that would still make the movie better, as it wouldn’t be portraying a character with a mental illness in a bad light.

    And here’s something that just confused me. Near the end, the Beast confesses he wants to rid the world of people he considers “impure” because they never went through traumatizing experiences. That I just found ridiculous, because what about people who haven’t suffered through abuse and such, but are kind and supportive enough to help people who have? Compassion still exists, and the Beast killing off those people too would most likely end up making things worse for those who suffered from traumatizing events, as they would lose all opportunities of getting proper help such as therapy and getting prescribed medication.

    Going back to criticizing, wouldn’t it make more sense for the Beast to just kill those who purposely inflicted suffering on others, like Casey’s uncle, instead of killing people who did nothing wrong? Because while that would still portray the Beast as merciless, he would have a more understandable plan and possibly a motive too. Perhaps he’d be killing these people because he would rather send these people to Hell sooner than later.

    To end this off, once again, I’m not judging you for liking this movie. However, even if it is just a movie, you have to remember that fictional media can affect reality and influence people’s minds. Remember how Jaws damaged perception of Great White Sharks and reduced beach turnouts for years? Or how the Matrix movies have been used as justifications for murdering innocent people? Point is, portraying a character with DID as a psychotic, dangerous monster is not only misinforming, but it could greatly harm the perception of real people with DID. Even if a mentally person like yourself wouldn’t be offended by stuff like this, remember that there are others who are more sensitive to media such as this, and understandably so.

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    1. It’s a work of fiction. If you watch the film, you’ll learn that what the main character is suffering from is not truly a “human” mental illness–it was only labeled one because the characters in the film didn’t know how else to explain it. What Kevin has is closer to superpowers. Also, Kevin’s character is not portrayed as merciless. It’s more of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde sort of situation. The Beast is the only real monster in the film, and again, he isn’t technically the result of DID. Anyway, I’m just trying to clarify some points because reading summaries isn’t the same as reading the actual script or watching the film. However, you ARE allowed not to support the movie, and I respect that. I am glad we could have this discussion, and I completely see where you are coming from. Mental illness is something that I’m very familiar with, and people in my family did suffer from stigmatized illnesses. Still, I can only hope that people will be able to judge between fact and fiction, and be held accountable for judging someone for being sick. In short, if a movie is enough to make you act out against someone, you seriously need to watch a documentary or read a book instead of basing your opinions on fiction. It’s unfortunate that people can’t make that leap.

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  2. Oh my reign I didn’t even know this WordPress thing existed…. Pretty darn cool. I expect you to keep this up now😁😇

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  3. You should do more of these spoiler-free reviews. You do a fantastic job on them. Not just this one–the one’s you used to have posted to your channel.

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