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SPLIT

What to know:
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
Recommended age 12-18
117 minutes
FeatureFilm
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
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On the edge of my seat for the entire movie, my terror briefly subsided only because of the comedic acting of villain, Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), playing 24 distinct personalities in M. Night Shyamalan's new movie, Split. I really enjoyed the film because it did more than terrify me. Although McAvoy's characters are deeply disturbing, I couldn't help but feel bad for them at different points. The acting of Mr. McAvoy in playing such diverse characters is superb and Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), trying to outsmart him in their cat and mouse game is very entertaining.

Two popular girls and Cooke are kidnapped while inside the car and locked away in a remote location. They are preyed upon by McAvoy's 24 distinct personalities which include a little boy and a stern woman. This movie transcends the typical horror movie where people try to run away from the madman. From the beginning of the film, it's apparent that Casey is different from the mainstream characters. She has been taught how to survive by her dad and battles McAvoy's character on a psychological level as she tries to figure her way out of a hopeless situation.

The lighting and dilapidated surroundings where the girls are imprisoned sets the mood for the upcoming terror. The premise behind the movie is that each of the split personalities takes on its own characteristics. For example, one of the diabetic characters needs insulin in order to survive. McAvoy is brilliant at playing so many different personalities and seamlessly changing from one to another.

My favorite part of the movie is when Cooke is brought up to the killer's bedroom and forced to watch him jam out to loud, crazy dance music as one McAvoy's characters, Hedwig, a boy years younger than her. Between his lisp and repeated use of the word etcetera, he had me smiling in the midst of the terror.

The message of the film is that people with mental disorders have cognitive thinking and unique personalities just as people without mental derangements. Mental disorders don't necessarily affect people in the way we think they do. This film gives surreal images about mental complexities.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars because the thrill of the movie scared me so much that I think James McAvoy might actually come after me. I felt as if I was one of the two girls he was chasing while watching the movie.

Even though the movie is PG-13, I only recommend it to ages 17 to 18. Adults will enjoy it more than kids because there is so much suspense and terror with McAvoy's kidnapping of the two girls that younger kids might have nightmares after watching the movie.

This movie is playing in theaters not so, go check it out. If you enjoy thrillers, it's one you don't want to miss.

Reviewed by Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Most importantly, I want to say that this movie is amazing! It is very well made! What I like most about it is the acting. The actors' performances truly deliver a great story. In particular, James McAvoy and Ana Taylor-Joy really stand out. They make you feel they truly are the characters they portray in the film. James McAvoy plays Kevin, the insane man that kidnaps three girls. His performance of this complex character is really incredible. Ana Taylor-Joy plays Casey Cook, one of the girls that is kidnapped. Additionally, the plot takes your breath away. M. Night Shyamalan's direction stands out. He is a master of this genre and this is excellent. The scenes are so well set up and all the questions get answered at the end of the movie. The movie is full of suspense, which I love! But, if you get scared easily, this might not be the film for you.

Kevin has a dissociative identity disorder, something that has always fascinated science. It is believed that some can also show unique physical qualities for each personality, which is Kevin's case. Though he has revealed 23 different personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, there remains one still hidden which is set to dominate all the others. By kidnapping three teenage girls, Kevin plays a war for survival among his different personalities and everyone around him, as everything around him collapses.

My favorite part of this film is when Casey starts winning one of Kevin's personalities. She is determined to do whatever it takes to run away, because she knows she could lose her life at any moment. And, one of those ways is to win his little boy personality to find a way out. She is super sneaky and super careful in how she does it, because she has to remember he is a psycho. I love this film because it shows how smart Casey is, how she knew what she was dong and how she had to do it. She almost achieves her goal in escaping, but Kevin turns back into another personality and reverts back to his original self. When he turns back, he does not let her do anything.

There aren't any lessons per se in this film other than not to befriend a psychopath. I recommend it to ages 14 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. Split is in theater now so, if you like horror films, be sure to check it out.

Reviewed by Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

When three girls are kidnapped by a man with 24 different personalities they have work out which of those personalities will help them escape and which of those personalities will try to stop them. James McAvoy produces a master class performance playing the psychotic kidnapper and 24 roles.
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Kid Critic video review by
ALEJANDRA GARCIA
Kid Critic video review by
SAMANTHA MARCUS

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