'SPLIT' Movie Review
The psychological crime drama 'Split' marks a return to form of sorts for visual storytelling beleaguered filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan since his previous movies suffered do to poorly crafted screenplays which in turn led to uninspired scene creations. This time he appears to have been more careful in determining what he wanted to say and how in this movie. That's an important aspect of crafting good to perfect visual storytelling; which is to nearly always have a message present in your film or other v.s. medium. If the film has no message then that becomes, paradoxially, it's message. For sometime life's events and thus a story's events can have little to no meaning.
In 'Split' the main character is a mental patient suffering from a whopping 24 distinct personalities. While the majority of the personalities are docile or non-aggressive there's one that is to be feared. This one is referred to as 'The Beast'. The film centers around the main character's 'weaker' personalities and how they interpret and obey the 'Beast's' ever burgeoning will. This leads to one of the personality's capturing 3 young women to become 'food' for the Beast who doesn't show up, regrettably for horror and gore fans, until the final aspects of the film.
As far as the film's message which I alluded to earier it really is a potent one. It's one that considers the experience of evil to be paramount in an individuals self-development and self-discovery. And even his sense of value in society is affected by it. Those who have managed to avoid contact with evil in their lives are not to be respected. Think about that: those who go through life UNTOUCHED are it's lease valued creations.
The film's visual metaphors and actions of it's characters go a long way to support this. For example, the 3 victimized women are young teenagers (a class in society known for it's spoiled, reckless behavior and arrogant attitudes despite not having much experience in life). Also the manifestation of the essentially unconscious-bound Beast hasn't been this thrilling since the incredible film, 'Altered States'. Those of you who have seen this bizarre and trippy scifi tale from the 1980's will know what I'm talking about.
[SPOILER ALERT!! DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU PLAN ON SEEING THIS FILM FOR IT'S SURPRISES!!...]
Over all this is a fine example of what can be done when a creator keeps his hand steady and has a message to present in his visual storytelling medium. Oddly enough the movie eluded to a possible sequel or at least an indirect sequel as the director reminds us visually by having Bruce Willis, who starred in M. Night's 'Unbreakable' and 'The Sixth Sense' appear in the closing scene, indicating that the character in 'Split' is simply another oddball in the director's ever growing arsenal of the strange and perturbing.
Copyright 2017 by George Alan Booker
I'm George Alan Booker and I created the character known as Zombie Racer and then everyone and his mother started turning it into shitty video games and smelly gym shoes on the Internet so now it's just all over the damn place. Anyway I used to work in comic books, animation, and TV advertising storyboarding. Now I'm returning to comics again with the start of this website. Check the site ledger on the Home Page (Graphic Storytelling.com and Gallery subheadings listings) for samples of my artwork. Follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/zombieracer for satirical jokes and political commentary (it's where I chill at).