M. Night Shyamalan used to be a God of cinema. With The Sixth Sense (1999), the vastly underappreciated Unbreakable the following year (and one of our “Forgotten Classics“) and then Signs (2002), he rode high at the box office and was the king of the twist ending. But audiences grew bored of him hiding secrets in plain sight, and later efforts such as Lady in the Water, The Happening and The Last Airbender were derided by the critics and ignored by audiences.
Now, he’s back. After overseeing hit tv show Wayward Pines, and scoring a hit with last year’s’ The Visit, Shyamalan returns to the big screen with Split. It focuses on Kevin, a man with at least 23 different personalities, who is compelled to abduct three teenage girls. As they are held captive, a final personality – “The Beast” – begins materialise. This looks like classic Shyamalan territory and it’s not hard to see why McAvoy would jump at a role – or, rather, 24 of them.
Hopes are high and it’s good to see the studios still have faith in a man once so capable of enthralling cinema-goers. Split opens January 20, 2017.