Split

 
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Release date: Sept. 26, 2016

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley

Budget: $9 million

Box office: $278.5 million

Three girls are kidnapped by a man with 23 different personalities who is preparing for the arrival of a 24th.

Split is a film able to almost immediately pull in its audience, keep them gripped throughout the story and invested in every character who appears, even when those characters happen to be various personalities in the same body. Surrounded in this psychological horror film is a fascinating deconstruction of how a villain is created and the horrifying implications of allowing the creation to occur. Different personalities reveal themselves throughout the film, some more malevolent and manipulating than others, providing a way for the film to be as unpredictable as possible and make its viewers feel just as helpless as the victims.

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This reaches into the atmosphere of the film, most of it taking place in what appears to be a broken down bunker, bolstering the bleakness of the situation, with forays into a brightly colored psychiatrist’s office offering some glimpses of hope should the threads happen to coincide. The beginning also has the door between the room the girls are kept and the rest of the bunker locked. The different personalities coming through at different times aids in the feeling of never knowing what or who is about to come through next. The atmosphere gets successfully darker as the story continues with much of the climax happening in shadows.

The film has some fantastic moments of acting in it, especially from McAvoy who has to portray many different personalities all with their own distinct idiosyncrasies and methods of expressing themselves, such as a bouncy fashion designer or a trusting and naïve child. The viewer is given moments where some of these personalities fly by in rapid succession and McAvoy does well with the quick changes. Another scene shows one of the personalities impersonating another and when called out on the masquerade, McAvoy’s change from the facial expressions of one to the other is seamless. It’s a great leading performance for someone who up until this point had largely been a supporting actor.

This is an interesting film and though it isn’t for everyone, it definitely appeals to those who find psychological horror or thrillers to their liking.

Awards

Won

CineEuphoria Awards

  • Best Actor – Audience Award (James McAvoy)

Fright Meter Awards

  • Best Actor (James McAvoy)

  • Best Supporting Actress (Betty Buckley)

Golden Trailer Awards

  • Best Thriller Poster

Hawaii Film Critics Society Awards

  • Best Actor (James McAvoy)

San Diego Film Critics Society Awards

  • Best Actor (James McAvoy)

Seattle Film Critics Awards

  • Best Villain (James McAvoy as Dennis and various multiple personalities)

SESC Filmj Festival, Brazil Critics Awards

  • Best Foreign Actor (James McAvoy)

Young Entertainer Awards

  • Best Supporting Young Actress – Feature Film


Nominated

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA – Saturn Awards

  •   Best Thriller Film

  •  Best Supporting Actress (Betty Buckley)

Casting Society of America, USA

  • Independent Achievement in Casting – Studio or Independent Feature – Drama

Central Ohio Film Critics Association

  • Best Actor (James McAvoy)

Empire Awards, UK

  • Best Horror

Fright Meter Awards

  • Best Horror Movie

  • Best Director

  • Best Editing

Golden Schmoes Awards

  • Best Horror Movie of the Year

Golden Trailer Awards

  • Best Thriller

  • Most Original Poster

International Online Cinema Awards

  • Best Actor (James McAvoy)

London Critics Circle Film Awards

  • Young British/Irish Performer of the Year (Anya Taylor-Joy)

MTV Movie + TV Awards

  • Best Actor in a Movie (James McAvoy)

North Texas Film Critics Association, US Awards

  • Best Actor (James McAvoy)

Phoenix Critics Circle

  • Best Mystery or Thriller Film

Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards – Rondo Statuette

  • Best Movie

Teen Choice Awards

  • Choice Movie Villain (James McAvoy)