Tonight at Fantastic Fest, a secret screening of M. Night Shyamalan's Split was held. The James McAvoy thriller was unspooled in front of an audience that didn't know they were going to experience Shyamalan's latest experiment in film-making. So the reactions we're about to run through here are from a fresh, unprompted crowd, and at least for the moment, they're overwhelmingly positive.
For starters, Ed Travis of Cinapse News gave the following, positive notice pertaining to Shyamalan's continued partnership with Jason Blum and his Blumhouse label:
This isn't totally dissimilar to the sort of praise M. Night Shyamalan received last year for The Visit, as that film was a small budget / large grossing success, bringing in $98 million on a $5 million budget. Part of that success was, as per usual, coming from audiences who wanted to see what the latest "twist" was in the Shyamalan universe. If this next review from Trace Thurman over at Bloody Disgusting is any indication, then it looks like the Shyamalan Twist is alive and well in Split, as Thurman stated the following:
Twist endings aside, not everyone was happy with the end result that was Split, as VFX artist Heather Buckley provided one of the more critical tweets pertaining to the film. Buckley's particular concern was, as follows:
Ultimately, we'd like to think that at the bare minimum, we hope that Split lives up to Lights Camera Austin's even-keeled assessment:
Split pits James McAvoy's Kevin against a handful of high school students that he's abducted in his cellar. With a whopping 23 separate personalities held in Kevin's person, his captives will try to outwit him by playing his various personalities against each other. Of course, Kevin and his many moods may not be their greatest threat, as "The Beast" is foretold to be on the rise. With time running out, and hope dwindling fast, our protagonists will fight to stay alive, as they try to stay ahead of the danger that surrounds them. It might be better if you watch the trailer for yourself, which is included below.
Split hopes to turn up the terror, and scare up some early box office dollars, on January 20, 2017.