Horror Grinder

Horror Movies Horror Books Horror News

Split (Blu-ray)

Posted by Ted Hentschke on April 23, 2017

SplitDirected by M. Night Shyamalan

Starring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Betty Buckley

Distributed by Universal Pictures


OOOOOOH MY GOD! M. NIGHT SHAYAMALAN MADE A GOOD MOVIE! THE SEVENTH SEAL HAS BEEN BROKEN! CRACK OPEN THE DOORS TO VALHALLA, THE ICE GIANTS MARCH FORTH FOR RAGNAROCK HAS COME! SEAL CLOSED YOUR SHELTERS, THE HEAT DEATH OF THE UNIVERSE IS UPON US! PROTECT YOUR VIRGINS AND MOST DELICIOUS YOUNG, THEY ARE YOUR CURRENCY NOW! And so on and so forth.

I’m more than slightly annoyed that all the discourse around Split is overshadowed by the communal shock and wonder that M. Night Shayamalan, fallen angel of the film world, has managed to make a good film after so many flops. Literally the only thing I knew about Split going in was that it was “good” instead of “bad,” and wasn’t that craaaaaazy!?!? Everyone seems to have their own theories on why this film worked, how his directorial style requires more focus or that he was humbled by his many failures, and I’m sure even some of them have merit. It’s just annoying that the context of Split overshadows the actual film. Did everyone forget that The Visit was pretty good? Or that Wayward Pines, the show he directed and produced, was awesome? I’d also be more keen to talk about him if I didn’t feel like the movie should have been titled ”The James McAvoy One Man Show!”. Some of the more auteur aspects I feel brought the movie down. I get the symbolism of The Beast living in a zoo, but wasn’t he born in a train station? Way to mix your metaphors.

Alright, rant over. I’m probably the last person on earth that hadn’t seen Split, but in case you’re broke like me and can’t go see movies, here’s the premise. James McAvoy plays a mentally ill man named Kevin, whose personality has “split” into 23 different unique personas. This isn’t your run of the mill mood swings, as each persona is its own character, complete with personality, style, ideas, identity, and even physicality. One of the personalities needs glasses, some are women, one is a child, and another is even diabetic. The way that McAvoy transforms into these characters is truly magnificent, and easily steals the show.

Most of the personalities in Kevin are benign, just wanting to live their lives as a group as best they can. They all want to be acknowledged, taken seriously as real beings. The conflict begins when three of Kevin’s personalities usurp the rest in an effort to summon a 24th personality, “The Beast.” To this end, the personas Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig kidnap three young girls as an offering. The film doesn’t waste any time: the kidnapping happens in the first five minutes, and from there it’s a struggle to escape.

It’s a fascinating premise that I also feel is a tad dishonest. First off, this isn’t an escape/survival story. The focus is split between Anya Taylor-Joy as the victim Casey, James McAvoy as Kevin, and Betty Buckley as Kevin’s psychologist Dr. Karen Fletcher. Together, they tell an origin story for a new villain known as “The Horde.” McAvoy is the clear star here, but Anya Taylor-Joy also gives a fantastic subtle performance. We learn a lot about her trauma and history through the course of the film. It just sucks that it’s all in the service of revealing more about The Beast. She never has her big transformative moment, or even a resolution in the end. She’s a fantastic character, but in the end only serves the purpose of further characterizing The Beast.

Betty Buckley’s character similarly exists to give us the scientific theory behind Kevin’s condition. We’re given several scenes where Dr. Fletcher proposes theories on the power of Dissociative Identity Disorder for the sole sake of setting up the transformation into The Beast later in the film. The special features show several cut scenes that further flesh out her character’s motivations, but as it stands she’s just another lens with which to see Kevin’s many personalities. A very compelling and effective lens, but still just a storytelling tool.

I know I’m being a bit harsh on Split, but that’s only because I so thoroughly loved the core of this film. McAvoy as Kevin was truly phenomenal. His range as an actor is mesmerizing, and his ability to switch between characters mid-scene is truly impressive. The whole film is worth seeing just for him. The concept is also the perfect mix of believable and magical. It’s the same feeling that Shyamalan brought to life in Unbreakable. The rules for the world are clear, and by the time the impossible happens you’re ready to believe it.

That all being said, there were a few issues here and there. There were some weak lines, and the film does overly rely on McAvoy without letting Taylor-Joy really shine. The parts with Buckley were great, but I really wish they had kept in the deleted scenes that fleshed out her character. There were also some stupid character decisions (why hit Patricia with a chair and run away when there are knives all around her?), and a strange reliance on teenage girl boobs. I get that this was in service of rounding out Dennis—and far be it for me to complain about boobs—but it might make your mom uncomfortable.

Split is a film that will take you by surprise even if you know almost everything about it. The life that McAvoy breathes into this character cements it as one of the great horror villains, and the path that Shyamalan sets for him is sure to lead to at least one more film. If you haven’t seen Split yet, do. This is how you do a small idea in a big way.

As for the special features, they kind of suck. I know a few people that were really pumped on the alternate ending, but it’s about 12 seconds long and adds nothing to the character. If you needed to just REALLY know that The Beast was bad and wanted to do bad things, then it’ll do that for you. The deleted scenes were far more interesting, giving some insight into Betty Buckley’s character, but were ultimately also forgettable. The making of featurette was fine, and the “Many Faces of James McAvoy” segment was actually pretty interesting. By the time you get to “The Filmmaker’s Eye: M. Night Shyamalan,” you’re seeing a lot of repeated footage. There just wasn’t enough behind the scenes work put in to make these meager few featurettes. It’ll definitely give you some insight into the filmmaking, but it outlives its runtime.

Bonus Features:

  • Alternate Ending and Deleted Scenes w/ Introduction by M. Night Shyamalan
  • The Making of Split
  • The Many Faces of James McAvoy
  • The Filmmaker’s Eye: M. Night Shyamalan

The post Split (Blu-ray) appeared first on Dread Central.

Samuel L. Jackson Talks Unbreakable 2

Posted by Steve Barton on February 23, 2017

Everyone is still buzzing about M. Night Shyamalan’s Split and the prospect of a proper sequel to Unbreakable. Including Mr. Glass himself Samuel L. Jackson.

Recently Collider caught up with Jackson to get his take on another round with Bruce Willis and James McAvoy…

I got a call and [Shyamalan] said, ‘Call me I wanna talk to you about something.’ And I called him, because I always do when I get a message from him always hoping [it’s Unbreakable 2], and he said, ‘I just did this film called Split, I want you to see it,’ and I was like ‘OK, I’m down with that.’ I had no idea what Split was about or anything else, and he said, ‘We’ll talk after you see it.’ So I went to the arranged screening and I called him immediately and was like, ‘OK dude does this mean what I think it means?’ and he was like, ‘Well first we gotta see how the movie does’. And I think the movie’s done well enough now to merit the ‘OK, let’s put this together.

Jackson also spoke about the new universe villain, McAvoy’s “The Horde:”

I think he’s an adequate foe for what Bruce’s Unbreakable character is in terms of him being sort of unbreakable too in that kind of way, and me having found now—fuck, that would be two people that Elijah would look at and go, ‘Why are they so this and I’m so this on this end of the spectrum?’

It’s just a matter of breaking my ass out of wherever that mental institution was they had me locked up and let’s get it on, let’s see what happens!

Stay tuned!

Unbreaklable

The post Samuel L. Jackson Talks Unbreakable 2 appeared first on Dread Central.

M. Night Shyamalan Talks Split Sequel: SPOILERS TO FOLLOW!

Posted by Steve Barton on January 25, 2017

Let us be clear… IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN SPLIT YET, AVOID THIS STORY LIKE YOU WOULD A DATE WITH SOMEONE WHO’S TENDING TO A RECURRING SCORCHING CASE OF HERPES.

We’re serious, man! I mean, come on – we used BOLDED CAPS. You know… much like the Internet… that’s serious business!

If you have seen Split and are a fan of M. Night Shyamalan, then the last few moments of the film no doubt had you squealing in a state of total and absolute fanboy nirvana.

SPOILERS:

With Split Shyamalan finally began building out his own superhero universe which began with Unbreakable. For over a decade fans have pleaded for a sequel. With Split, the first step has been taken toward that goal. Recently Night sat down with star James McAvoy for an interview with Empire to talk about the film’s connection and more.

Was this film a surprise sequel to Unbreakable?

However you want to look at it,” said Shyamalan. “Maybe it’s a new format – this movie, this movie, and a final movie.

A final movie? Split 2? Unbreakable 3? Time will tell, but Shyamalan is already on the job!

I’m writing the outline now. It’s weird. It’s long. It’s the longest outline I’ve ever had. It has so many characters… I hope if Split is a success [which it was], I’ll have the opportunity to finish the story. I want to finish it, so this is the third one.

In terms of the Split/Unbreakable connection, McAvoy chimed in, “When I first read the script, it wasn’t there. There was some weird little allusion to the fact that it might be linked to Unbreakable, but it was so subtle I kinda discounted it. Then on the last day of rehearsals I was like, ‘Mate, is this thing linked to that thing?’ It was honestly the most subtle thing you could ever have written. None but the greatest fanboy alive would ever have noticed it. So it went from being a tiny music cue to a whole full-blown scene with a major movie star [read: Bruce Willis] in it.

So, who would win should Dennis/Patricia/Hedwig/The Beast/Kevin Wendell Crumb/Barry/Orwell/Jade/etc. and David Dunn clash?

When two baldies go to war. My money’s on B-Dog” said McAvoy. “I hope he lets me call him that.

END SPOILERS

Stay tuned!

Split

The post M. Night Shyamalan Talks Split Sequel: SPOILERS TO FOLLOW! appeared first on Dread Central.

ICYMI: Our Split Review

Posted by Steve Barton on January 20, 2017

We originally reviewed M. Night Shyamalan’s latest fear flick, Split (review), a few months back so in case you missed it, just click the link!

Split is in theaters NOW!

Synopsis:
Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Split

The post ICYMI: Our Split Review appeared first on Dread Central.

New Split Clips Introduce Patricia and Dennis

Posted by Steve Barton on January 17, 2017

So many personalities! So many clips! Two more are here showing off more of the lunacy of Split and we have em for you in all their grand psychotic glory!

strong>Split Release Details:
Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs with Split (review), an original thriller that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind. Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the film, which Universal Pictures is releasing on January 20th.

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being.

For Split, Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit, the No. 1-grossing horror film of 2015. Their fellow collaborators include producer Marc Bienstock and executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.

Synopsis:
Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Split

The post New Split Clips Introduce Patricia and Dennis appeared first on Dread Central.

New Featurette Explores How Split Came to Be

Posted by Debi Moore on January 16, 2017

Split, the latest film from M. Night Shyamalan, is heading to both the US and the UK on January 2oth; and to help both side of the pond get ready for it, a new featurette has arrived in which the writer/director and his star, James McAvoy, discuss the themes and variety of genres explored in the film and look into how McAvoy’s ever-changing character has been brought to life.

Split Release Details:
Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs with Split (review), an original thriller that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind. Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the film, which Universal Pictures is releasing on January 20th.

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being.

For Split, Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit, the No. 1-grossing horror film of 2015. Their fellow collaborators include producer Marc Bienstock and executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.

Synopsis:
Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Split

The post New Featurette Explores How Split Came to Be appeared first on Dread Central.

New Split Clip Introduces Hedwig

Posted by Steve Barton on January 4, 2017

Get ready to meet Hedwig. He has red socks, ya know. Don’t believe us? Check out this latest clip from M. Night Shayamalan’s upcoming film Split.

Split Release Details:
Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs with Split (review), an original thriller that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind. Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the film, which Universal Pictures is releasing on January 20th.

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being.

For Split, Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit, the No. 1-grossing horror film of 2015. Their fellow collaborators include producer Marc Bienstock and executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.

Synopsis:
Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Split

The post New Split Clip Introduces Hedwig appeared first on Dread Central.

Split Image Gallery Materializes to Dominate Your Wednesday

Posted by Debi Moore on January 4, 2017

It’s already hump day, and to make sure you’re keeping the upcoming film Split on your radar, Universal Pictures has released a gallery’s worth of new images, including a few behind-the-scenes shots with M. Night Shyamalan.

Split Release Details:
Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs with Split (review), an original thriller that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind. Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the film, which Universal Pictures is releasing on January 20th.

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being.

For Split, Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit, the No. 1-grossing horror film of 2015. Their fellow collaborators include producer Marc Bienstock and executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.

Synopsis:
Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Split

The post Split Image Gallery Materializes to Dominate Your Wednesday appeared first on Dread Central.

Attention Hartford, CT: See Split Early!

Posted by Steve Barton on January 3, 2017

Get excited, Hartford! We have your chance to score early tickets for the next film from M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film, titled Split! Dig it!

Click HERE for your chance to win tickets to an exclusive January 17th showing!

Split Release Details:
Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs with Split (review), an original thriller that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind. Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the film, which Universal Pictures is releasing on January 20th.

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being.

For Split, Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit, the No. 1-grossing horror film of 2015. Their fellow collaborators include producer Marc Bienstock and executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.

Synopsis:
Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Split

The post Attention Hartford, CT: See Split Early! appeared first on Dread Central.

Attention Hartford, CT: See Split Early!

Posted by Steve Barton on January 3, 2017

Get excited, Hartford! We have your chance to score early tickets for the next film from M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film, titled Split! Dig it!

Click HERE for your chance to win tickets to an exclusive January 17th showing!

Split Release Details:
Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs with Split (review), an original thriller that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind. Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the film, which Universal Pictures is releasing on January 20th.

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being.

For Split, Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit, the No. 1-grossing horror film of 2015. Their fellow collaborators include producer Marc Bienstock and executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.

Synopsis:
Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

Split

The post Attention Hartford, CT: See Split Early! appeared first on Dread Central.