Writer and director M. Night Shyamalan. If you’re unaware of his name you should be aware of his films; Signs, The Village, Unbreakable and of course The Sixth Sense are the early, better films of Shyamalan’s career, before he started to make train wrecks such as The Happening and After Earth. But, Split is a return to form for Shyamalan, with less plot twists than previous films, he’s instead placed the turns inside his main character.
James McAvoy plays a man with a split personality, 23 personalities in fact, who kidnaps three girls with the intention to introduce them to a new, deadly 24th personality. More thriller than horror, the girls must work out a way to escape by negotiating with the more sympathetic personalities McAvoy’s character unveils. The many personalities are great to watch, from an OCD clean freak to a 9 year old boy who loves to listen to Kanye West, strangely McAvoy gains even a few laughs with his portrayal of this bizarre character. It’s a fun ride, with some philosophical elements thrown in by Dr. Karen Fletcher, the psychiatrist of McAvoy’s many personalities, of whom knows something is up but can’t quite put her finger on it.
I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed Split, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good thriller. It’s not the best film Shyamalan has made – the ending is a little unconvincing – but a good watch none the less, and if you’re a fan of Shyamalan’s previous (watchable) films, there’s a good easter egg in the mix for you too.
– Ben Chesters