Split ★★★

Odd that two films from the last year that pretty much have the same premise, this and 10 Cloverfield Lane, both had a pretty great first two thirds before kind of falling off a cliff. Both films pretty much go against their previously established tone, Lane with its tacked on, out-of-place ending and Split with a rushed, sort of sci-fi finale? I prefer the Split ending for sure, but probably liked 10 Cloverfield Lane more as a whole. Huh. I just feel like this had plenty of opportunities to go somewhere more interesting, and instead we have McAvoy crawling around on the walls. Casey’s flashbacks were chilling and I was sure they’d be a bigger part of the finale. In the end they kind of felt wasted. If the epilogue scene doesn’t happen, are people more disappointed in this?

Odd that this doesn’t really feel like a Shyamalan film. Admittedly, the most recent of his films I’d seen prior to this was The Village, so it was a little disappointing to suddenly be removed from formalist, slow-burn Shyamalan and be introduced to this less interesting new guy. This is still pretty well directed, but I usually like Shyamalan’s sweeping use of space combined with his lurking dread, which this whole premise didn’t really allow for. I guess I approached this as one of Shyamalan’s more serious works, when it’s closer to something more like a late-night, no thrills thriller. Which makes the inclusion and subsequent misuse of Casey’s abused backstory even more odd.

Still, it’s fine if a little disappointing considering the hype that seemed to surround it. Perhaps I need to engage with more modern Shyamalan to get to grips with his newer style. What’s The Visit like?

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