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Split (Blu-ray Review)

14 Apr, 2017 By: John Latchem

Street 4/18/17
Box Office $137.54 million
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for disturbing thematic content and behavior, violence and some language.
Stars James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula, Brad William Henke.

Director M. Night Shyamalan rediscovers the promise of his early films with a freaky thrill ride anchored by a showcase performance from James McAvoy, who plays Kevin, a man with dissociative identity disorder.

McAvoy effortlessly drifts in between Kevin’s 23 distinct personalities, who begin to speak of an emerging 24th personality called The Beast who purportedly as supernatural abilities.

To placate this newcomer, Kevin kidnaps three girls (Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula) and locks them in an underground lair, where various identities come forth to either guard them or help them escape, leading to some tense situations.

Some personalities, who sense the coming danger, seek help from a psychologist named Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), who adheres to a theory that different personalities in the same person can trigger physical changes in the body to match what each believes to be true. This presents the possibility that The Beast might actually have supernatural abilities when he comes to the surface.

Kevin was actually a character deleted from the script of one of Shyamalan’s earlier works, which ties into a neat revelation at the end of the film.
The Blu-ray contains what is billed as an “alternate ending,” but it’s really a 10-second clip of Kevin ruminating about his situation. For perspective, Shyamalan’s introduction of the scene runs about 80 seconds.

The Blu-ray also includes nearly 15 minutes of deleted scenes, including a completely excised subplot about a neighbor of Dr. Fletcher played by Sterling K. Brown, the Emmy winner from The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

The sparse Blu-ray also includes three short featurettes: There’s a 10-minute behind-the-scenes video; the nearly six-minute “The Many Faces of James McAvoy”; and a four-minute vignette called “The Filmmaker’s Eye,” which focuses on Shyamalan’s creative process.

About the Author: John Latchem

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