"Split" is a return to quality thrills and chills from M. Night Shyamalan.
Ever since "The Sixth Sense", auteur M. Night Shyamalan has struggled to recreate the magic that his screenplay and direction was in that instance. "Split" is not nearly the psychological thriller that 1999 film was, but his latest is one of his best in a decade or so. It's taut, clever, and contains several sharply observed performances from star James McAvoy.
McAvoy plays Kevin, a man suffering from dissociative identity disorder whose personality has split into 24 distinct characters. The acclaimed Scottish actor essays a half dozen of them here, from a lisping 9-year-old to a British dowager. "Dennis", one of Kevin's most dangerous characters, kidnaps three teen girls and holds them hostage in his underground lair. Will they escape? Can they appeal to one of the nicer characters to remain alive? And is that secret star's cameo at the end setting up a sequel to two Shyamalan films? These answers and more are embedded in a far from perfect script, but one that delivers a lot of thrills and chills nonetheless.