An outing takes a sinister turn for three teenage friends (Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, and Jessica Sula) when they are kidnapped by a ruthless stranger (James McAvoy) and imprisoned in his basement. They soon learn that their captor has multiple-personality disorder, forcing them to plot their escape without ever knowing which of his 23 personas -- young or old, male or female, benign or monstrous -- they will confront on the way out. Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. ~ Violet LeVoit, Rovi
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Haley Lu Richardson, Brad William Henke,
Release Date: Jan 20, 2017
Rated PG-13 for Some Language, Disturbing Thematic Content, Disturbing Behavior and Violence
Runtime: 1 hr. 57 min.
Genres: Horror, Suspense/Thriller
M. Night Shyamalan hasn’t made a good movie in a long long while. I’ve personally found him to be one of the most frustrating and annoying directors in recent memory. Typically his films have an interesting premise but he can’t help but show us exactly how clever he thinks he is. Spilt suffers from similar issues. Shyamalan is helped greatly by some stellar performances from James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy. McAvoy is fully committed to the role and its fun watching him switch through personalities with incredible ease. McAvoy’s role is the center piece but Anya Taylor-Joy is nearly as impressive in a more subtle role. Taylor-Joy continues to impress after her star making turn in last years The Witch. She displays some impressive talent that bodes well for her in the future. Sadly, both performances can’t save a messily made child abuse allegory. In a better filmmaker’s hand, this could have been a special film that could have really taken advantage of the strong performances. Instead Shyamalan delivers a heavy handed child abuse parable all the while sexualizing his young stars with some outright creepy shots and plot devices. Like every M. Night Shyamalan there’s a twist and a pointless cameo by the director. The twist is entirely inorganic and comes entirely out of left field, its sole purpose is to remind audiences that Shyamalan made decent films a long time ago.