The big question with Split is not so much how can James McAvoy play 23 different characters in one film, but whether the film can continue the career resurrection of director M Night Shyamalan. After impressing everyone with early films such as The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs, the King of the Twist’s reputation took a hit with misfires like The Village and Lady In The Water, after which there were a string of out-and-out turkeys from which it looked like he would never recover – The Happening, The Last Airbender and After Earth. But recover he did with last year’s surprise hits The Visit and the TV show Wayward Pines. And one thing’s certain with Split – he’s not playing things safe, and for that alone he should be applauded. The film is a thriller based on a man with multiple personality disorder (McAvoy).
Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialise and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the wilful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy – The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him, as well as everyone around him, as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.
For Split, Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit.