John Baer

Split: A Twisted Masterpiece

February 2, 2017

Split only being rated at 73% by Rotten Tomatoes and 7.5/10 by IMDB is absolutely insane to me seeing as it deserves even beyond a 100% rating. This movie deserves every honorable movie award in existence…it is incredible! The dedicated directors and devoted cast made this movie one to remember.

From the moment the movie began, you could sense by the hair raising on your neck that something bad was about to occur. One second, three teenage girls are leaving a birthday party with one of the girl’s father, and the next second, a strange man knocked the father out and took the driver’s seat where the father should have been. He then drugged the girls, leaving them unconscious for the ride. After knocking them out and driving them to his strange, bolted-shut building, the girls wake up in a confused haze. Each time they are visited by the strange man, Kevin, he appeared differently, spoke in different voices, and was like a new person every time he entered the room. DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder, or Multiple Personality Disorder) was taking over, and the girls were beginning to notice he had a severe disorder. Warning: spoilers!

Time and time again, the girls tried to come up with the reason that could be behind this man’s strange actions and random personality swap-ups. Was he tricking them? Was he actually sick? Soon enough, they stopped asking questions and began to focus on the more important, broad picture of the situation: how they could survive. Every attempt to escape was failed, and there were no ways out. Some of the man’s 24 identities he held in his body were kind and tried to help the girls, but were not given enough time to help before another identity took over.

One of the three girls, Casey, was very introverted, not ever speaking much. Throughout the movie, she would have flashbacks to moments in her life that taught her lessons, such as her father dying, being abused by her uncle, or being taught how to shoot an animal properly. These flashbacks added a strong emotional appeal throughout the film, and in the end saved her life.

After Kevin discovered he could access a 24th identity and openly spoke about it to his extremely supportive therapist, Dr. Fletcher, she paid a visit to his home out of concern. This new identity he spoke of sounded inhuman and impossible. This identity was known as the “beast”; it could climb up walls, lift an excessive amount of weight, and destroy anything it its path. Dr. Fletcher discovered the girls being held captive in Kevin’s home, and was found by Kevin upon her discovery. Sure enough, he drugged her, left her in his home locked up, and set out to transform into the beast.

Upon his returning to his home, Kevin was no more, and the beast was present. He raced through the rooms, killing Dr. Fletcher and eating two of the three girls, only leaving Casey alive. In her attempt to try to escape, she finds a note Dr. Fletcher had left to help anyone who was left survive. “Say his name. Kevin Wendell Crumb.” Casey saw the note and began yelling this at Kevin, shutting the beast down. Upon himself truly returning to his body, he was shaken and horrified at what he had done. He told Casey where to find a gun and shells, begging her to end his life.

In a short moment, the beast  once again took over Kevin’s body and was out to get Casey. She loaded the gun, and sprinted into a closed-in gate as fast as she could. Crying and scared, she listened to the beast chant of how all three of the girls were privileged and had no clue what it was like to suffer or feel real pain. He was breaking down and showing his intense, angry side.  The only hope Casey had was to show the beast her struggles, and by doing so, the beast ran off and let her live. All she had to do was remove her clothing and show the cuts and burns that stained her skin.

Casey was found and taken to the police station where she passed along the information of what had occurred, but Kevin was nowhere to be found. The movie closed with a scene in a local diner, showing a group of women at the counter watching the Kevin story on the news. “That reminds me of another funny case years ago about that guy in the wheelchair. What was his name?” A woman murmured. Then, the film comes to an end by showing Bruce Willis in a work shirt with a name patch reading “Dunn.” He was laughing, staring at the TV, and responded to the woman by saying, “Mr. Glass.” This iconic Unbreakable reference is what we have been waiting for years for, and it tied the movie together perfectly. We are set up for a second Split or an Unbreakable 2, and boy, I cannot wait. I highly recommend this perfectly directed thriller. It was a fresh take on modern horror, and offered many emotional aspects that most horror films cannot hit.

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