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The Chive


   The funniest, nastiest movie reviews anywhere.


The greatest trick the writer of Devil every pulled was convincing the world his talent didn't exist.

Hey kids!  Here's a pearl necklace of real world wisdom from your friendly, neighborhood Cinemavenger, and it's something your parents and teachers would never tell you.  If you're in a class or course where you have to take the same test at the beginning and end to see how much you've improved, pump the brakes the first time around.  Definitely don't ace that first test.  If you do, you're a sucker with nowhere to go but down.

Just ask M. "The Dark" Night Shyamalan.  The first feature film he ever wrote and directed was The Sixth Sense.  Ok, it was technically his third feature film, but no one saw the first two - and if you say you did you're a fucking liar - so just go with it.

Between its gut-punch twist and "I see dead people" line, The Sixth Sense was an instant classic.  Shyamalan had aced his beginning-of-career test.  Which is why people were generally unimpressed with his follow up, Unbreakable.  It was actually a great movie, but after The Sixth Sense set everyone's expectations higher than a Colorado rasta, it would have had to have been literally the best . . . movie . . . ever not to let audiences down.

Say what you will about the Dusky Director, but he knew what had to be done, and he had the Taj Mahal-sized koftas to do it.  Shyamalan spent the next decade making six of the fuckawfulest movies ever to be shat into a multiplex.  It took all six, but he finally lowered those Sixth Sense-inflated expectations to the point that his 2015 The Visit got a fair shake from audiences and critics alike.

Call it hitting reset.  Call it the nuclear option.  Call it whatever the fuck you want, but it worked.  M. is back.  His latest, Split, would rate even higher than The Visit if it wasn't for the fact that it's nothing more than *Spoiler-ish Alert* a two-hour preview for Unbreakable 2.  And if it wasn't 20 or so minutes too long, with a pace that goes from crack to smack and back five times and a serious child-rape fetish.

Kevin (James "Big" McAvoy) suffers from multiple personality disorder, now known as dissociative identity disorder.  It's what ignorant idiots call schizophrenia, and it means that there are 23 different people taking shits in the various corners of Kevin's mind.  A couple of the sicko personalities team up and make Kevin kidnap three teen girls to feed to the Beast, a 24th personality that may or may not be superhuman and may or may not be about to emerge for the first time.

Split is a Shyamajawn, so of course it takes place in Philadelphia, and of course Night has a cameo in it.  The final scene is 100% in the Unbreakable universe, which confirms that Shyamalan is going to attempt to continue his career renaissance with Unbreakable 2.

I see dead sequels.

February 3, 2017