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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Psychological > Murder > Mystery > Crime > Identity > Split (2017/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)

Split (2017/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: B+/B- Sound: B+/B- Extras: B Film: B+

M. Night Shyamalan has had a more varied and interesting career than many other modern filmmakers in that his films are hit (1999's The Sixth Sense) or miss (the 2013 Will Smith bomb After Earth), with many feeling that in recent years he has lost his touch in some ways save his previous 2015 outing The Visit, which was a sleeper hit. The case is much different for Split (2017) a return to form for the director, once again proving his talent for suspense and his keen eye for blocking and visual storytelling.

Spit stars James McAvoy (X-Men franchise, Wanted) in his best performance to date as Kevin ''Windell'' Crumb, a dangerous and vile man who possesses 23 (on the verge of 24) personalities who abducts three unsuspecting young women. The film plots him against Casey Cook (played by Anya Taylor-Joy, who stunned audiences last year with the supernatural horror film The VVitch - reviewed elsewhere on this site) - a troubled young girl who shares more in common with this criminal than she would like to admit. As the three young women are kept under lock and key against their own will, Kevin wrestles with his different personas as his concerned psychiatrist Dr. Karen Fletcher (played brilliantly by Betty Buckley) struggles to piece together Kevin's sudden cries for help. An engrossing and interesting thriller, Split is a film to recommend you check out and is a kind-of sequel to Shyamalan's Unbreakable (2000) - which I feel is the Director's best work.

Also in the film are Kim Director, Sterling K. Brown, and a cameo by Bruce Willis.

Split is presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and a nice sounding, lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 track, both which are up to disc standards. The film is shot in Philadelphia (Night's home) in the fall season and has many scenes are filled with beautiful colors that reflect the season. Other parts of the film are dark and sterile, reflecting the dark world these prisoners are locked into. The presentation is solid and a few stand out moments of sound design and lightning, namely during the film's climax.

Also included is a standard definition DVD which is presented in an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track. This transfer lacks the detail and picture quality to the Blu-ray obviously, but works fine for the format.

A digital UV copy is also included.

Special Features:

Alternate Ending

Deleted Scenes

The Making of Split - Filmmakers, cast, and crew discuss what attracted them to the project and how they were able to bring such a unique premise to life.

The Many Faces of James McAvoy - A look at how James McAvoy approached the challenge of playing so many different identities.

The Filmmaker's Eye: M. Night Shyamalan - Director and writer M. Night Shyamalan has a singular, big-picture vision of his projects. Producers, cast, and crew discuss how Night's process gives them the freedom to execute their roles to the fullest.

Split is an interesting film and is presented nicely on this release from Universal. Recommended.

- James Lockhart



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