Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Haley Lou Richardson, Jessica Sulu, Kerry Dutka (Rated M – 117 min).
For the better part of this exceptional thriller from notorious director M. Night Shyamalan (Sixth Sense, The Village), being nervous and absolutely on edge as things unfold is mandatory. The less you know of Split, the better the nightmare experience will be. No spoilers here.
Sterling career summit effort from Scotsman James McAvoy (Trance, Wimbledon) slip-streaming into an awkward, brilliant, frightening multi-based character performance evoking unpredictable, disturbing solid chills.
Three teen friends are kidnapped in broad daylight then taken and locked up to a seemingly underground facility with a bed and bathroom. Without a clue why they are there as things progress, the girls are visited in the room by the same man who abducted them. However he is rarely the same changing demeanour almost every time, his multi-personalities are unveiled.
Psychotic yes, weird yes, this guy is a powder keg of mixed emotions and the girls, one in particular figures out a way to manipulate him while planning their escape. Unfortunately for everyone within near vicinity, a separate alternative personality laying dormant within his mind is looming and when unleashed, all hell will break loose.
Not all is as it seems, key moments incur laughter before tonal shifts into terrifying intense situations confound as much as jolt your senses. McAvoy is on fire tapping into his vast repertoire of acting supreme one-man-show presenting limitless reach into switching it up.
On the edge of superstardom, former model now established actress Anya Taylor-Joy takes her seemingly normal teen character Casey to extremes with her own hidden agenda and cause.
Twists and turns abound, it is possible a second viewing would assist in the puzzle like plot however nobody will expect the incredible final shot linking something ‘very important’ together. It’s a knockout.
Shane A. Bassett
Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.