What happens when you can't find the movie you were planning on watching?  You watch the movie you missed in theaters last year.  I was supremely interested in Split for two reasons.  1) It's an M. Night joint.  Yeah, he lost his footing for a stint, but my ears perk up whenever he trifles with the horror genre.  He has an intrinsic aptness for suspense.  Don't argue with me.  2) The film stars my beloved Anya Taylor-Joy!  Joy bewitched me in 2015's The Witch, and I already regret my choice to use "bewitched" as a blotchy non-quip.  Oy.  In times like these, I want to shove myself into a locker and poach my lunch money.

Where do you think you're going, Coccaro?  Huh, f*g?  Wow, sorry. I'm still in bully mode.  I'm a method actor, I suppose.  On the subject of acting, James McAvoy blew me away as the caitiff with a dissociative identity (disorder).  That he portrays multiple characters is impressive enough; he shows true commitment to each personality and slides into their skin, so to speak.  But Split is a little too spooky for Oscar consideration.  I mean, it's not, but WHATEVER.  Fucking charlatans.  I haven't said it clearly and audibly yet, but I adored this tense gust of dander.  We don't usually get dander storms in a serotinal season.

Joy is wonderful as Casey, one of three teenaged girls kidnapped and held captive by a man with twenty-three (or 23) personalities, all jockeying for position in the "light."  The "light" is center stage.  The girls are warned by McAvoy's horde of identities that a 24th personality remains hidden.  A beast.  And it's coming for them. Man, I thought for sure that I had the obligatory plot twist decrypted as soon as the first trailer dropped.  Alas, Split is not a werewolf flick. Wouldn't that make perfect sense?  Werewolves improve everything, even shredded bubble gum.  I'm glad that I was wrong, though. Likewise, I'm glad that I managed to eke out an existence for eighteen months without spoiling the ending for myself.

He was a dead alien the whole time!  Just kidding.  I won't write another word about the storyline, but suffice to say, I dig where it goes.  Going back to the cast, I have zero complaints.  Joy excels at playing complex characters, and Casey is realistic in a sobering, dispiriting way.  Betty Buckley is empathetic as Dr. Fletcher.  You don't want her to be harmed.  Jessica Sula and Haley Lu Richardson are more than adequate as the other two abducted birds, and while they don't receive the lion's share of the attention, they manage to maximize their minutes.

I'm actively trying to come up with a blemish to anatomize, but what if there are no blemishes?  Split isn't perfect.  Is it?  Shit, I take perfect ratings very seriously, so I'm fourth-guessing myself here.  Fuck it.  I loved this film just as much as I loved M. Night's early work.  It could be his finest endeavor.  Yup.

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