Saturday, January 21, 2017
CNS/USCCB (K. Jensen) review
Los Angeles Times (J. Chang) review
RogerEbert.com (C. Lemire) review
AVClub (I. Vishnevetsky) review
Split  (written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan) is a quite disconcerting film that I have a fair amount of mixed emotions about.
ON ONE HAND, the film's probably WAY MORE LURID than it needs to be: Three teenage girls, Casey (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) Claire (played by Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (played Jessica Sula), are kidnapped and held in some underground compound by a crazed man in his 20s-30s (played by James McAvoy) with serious multiple personality disorder. Since teenage girls are involved the film-maker, while never crossing into R-territory, certainly "plays at the boundary" between the PG-13 / R-ratings -- while never having the three actresses undressed completely, the director does have them show about as much skin as the PG-13 rating would allow. SO there's DEFINITELY a CREEPY aspect to this film that will PROBABLY "ick-out" (!) a fair number of adults (including myself...) that would go to see it.
ON THE OTHER HAND, if one imagines THE TARGET AUDIENCE to be _precisely_ TEENAGE GIRLS ... then WOW, does this film _speak the language_ of _wide-eyed_ teenage girls telling _a scary story_ to freak-out their friends! And that's, I suppose, the film's genius. It's a story that one would imagine a group of junior-high early-high-school teenage girls would tell each other about "some really messed-up / deeply creepy dude."
Now maybe the next time a film like this hits the screen, it'd probably be better if it was written / made by women as well...
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