Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan has finally made his first good movie since Signs (2002) with Split, a down-to-the-basics, creepy thriller propelled by excellent performances from James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch).
The film reminds us that Shyamalan can be quite the capable director (and writer) when he isn't getting too carried away.
Taylor-Joy plays Casey, a high school outcast who attends a birthday party, and soon thereafter finds herself and two classmates imprisoned by a strange man with multiple personalities (McAvoy). In addition to the angry man that kidnaps them, he's a stately, mannered woman, a 9-year-old child and, well, a few others. One of those other personalities plays a big part in taking the film into other realms beyond psychological thriller.
McAvoy goes nuts with the role, and Shyamalan takes things into supernatural territories in a chilling climax. Taylor-Joy is quickly becoming the new scream queen, McAvoy’s work will surely stand as one of the year’s most fun performances, and Shyamalan finds himself back from the dead. Stay for the credits, which include a nice cameo.