M. Night Shyamalan creates yet another hit movie with his new horror film “Split.”
Three girls are taken to a secluded warehouse where they are kept by a man with 23 separate personalities.
Wasting no time, Shyamalan jumps right into the plot not ten minutes into the movie. From there, the personalities are released.
Rather than fighting against one enemy, protagonist Casey Cook must face multiple minds in order to escape with her life. Her three adversaries are Dennis, Ms. Patricia and Hedwig.
Dennis is the kidnapper — strong, orderly and the most dangerous. Ms. Patricia is a sophisticated, older woman with a calm and quiet demeanor.
She explains Dennis cannot harm them, per her rules. Hedwig is just another 9-year-old boy with a knack for mischief and rebellion. Casey quickly grasps who they are, but can any of them help her?
Though the technical side of the movie is flawless, “Split” focuses first and foremost on the characters and their stories, especially the many personalities of the kidnapper.
With 23 split personalities, each one has their own emotions, their own mind and their own desires.
None of them can think like another, making them each separate entities altogether.
Only Shyamalan could apply schizophrenia in a way that molds the mental illness into an artistic expression of the mind. As the movie progresses, the audience can’t help but feel sympathy for the other benign personas of the kidnapper.
Lately, Shyamalan’s movies have been rather low-grade compared to his other hits from the late ‘90s and early 2000s. In 2010, he released “The Last Airbender,” which never lived up to the original animated series, and in 2015, released “The Visit,” a great concept but produced with an average horror movie structure.
Maybe Shyamalan simply went through a dry streak. Every artist has one after all. With “Split,” though, 2017 may be Shyamalan’s return to renowned films.
Engrossing, thrilling and enthralling, Shyamalan’s use of the human mind creates an alluring sense of suspense as the brain’s potential is fully released.