Shyamalan’s Roll on the Dreaded 7-10 Split
Review by Aaron Haughton
It’s arguably the most difficult shot to make in the whole sport of bowling. They even call it the “killer shot.” That pesky rascal, the 7-10 split, makes the pros palms get sweaty and the amateurs say, 'No way in hell.'
You may ask: What the fuck does bowling have to do with M. Night Shyamalan’s latest endeavor, Split?
I may say: I feel that’s the kinda pressure he’s rolling up against.
This is no understatement either. The man who once brought us such joys as The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs, also filled our mouths with the stale farts of his subsequent works.
Which reminds me of something a dear friend once told me, he said: If you throw enough shit at the wall, eventually some of it will stick.
Well, it's my pleasure to announce that some of the shit has finally stuck once again.
While Split may not be a perfect film or receive any nominations from the [bullshit] academy, there’s a lot of redeeming qualities and charm to to this “extraordinary” thriller. Here’s just a few reasons to give it a day in court:
- There’s a McAvoy of all flavors.
McAvoy plays a man who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder and houses 23 distinct personalities, 8 of which we personally get the delight of witnessing. Personally, I thought the total number of personalities was too great a number, which didn’t really hold any weight or overall significance in the narrative. I wondered if maybe 23 was the number of total personalities a human being could occupy, but, alas!, there are only 16 personalities (yeh, I Googled it and the Internet is always right). That’s how you know it’s true when I say there’s a McAvoy for everyone.
- It’s another deep licking on a Hitchcock joint.
Like many filmmakers before him (here’s looking at you DePalma), Shyamalan has always taken a fascination to Hitchcock, which comes across in nearly everything he’s ever done. Split being no exception. This go around he’s working with some very Psycho-esque elements here. Mainly, personality disorders, deep seeded violence, and child/mother issues, but much of the tension built in the film calls back to Hitchcock’s body of work.
- Find the Shyamalan.
Just like Hitchcock, Shyamalan likes to cameo briefly in his films. In the Pokémon culture, you gotta catch em all. If Pokémon’s not your thing and nostalgias your bag, feel free to substitute Where’s Waldo or I Spy.
- The notorious Shyamalan twist.
This should probably be a dance move, but it’s generally how he ruins a fair narrative. This film is much more straight-up-no-twist than his other attempts; although, there’s a surprising cameo at the end that makes you scratch your head as to what this twisty motherfucker has up his sleeve next.
Split proves that Shyamalan can still pick up the spare when wedged in a tight spot. My guess is it'll leave many of us wondering if a Shyamalan revival may be upon on us. Only time will rightly tell.
Rating: 3.5 kidnappings outta 5.