Here’s a twist for you: M. Night Shyamalan is back.
Universal Pictures has debuted the first trailer for Shyamalan’s upcoming film “Split,” which stars James McAvoy as a kidnapper with 23 personalities who abducts young women for an ambiguous ritual. All the while an unseen, more violent personality, The Beast, threatens to emerge.
The trailer establishes numerous personalities for McAvoy, with a hint of science-fiction twist thrown in for good measure. Not only does McAvoy’s dissociative identity disorder cause him to switch between nerdy, female or childlike personalities, but his affliction can also alter his physiology. The trailer doesn’t exactly explain what this means, but it certainly raises the question of whether The Beast is a metaphoric or literal manifestation.
Shyamalan is best known for the 1999 supernatural thriller “The Sixth Sense” starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment, in which a child psychologist aids a young boy who can communicate with the dead. The filmmaker has struggled to find similar success in recent years. Shyamalan’s earlier post-“Sixth Sense” films like “Unbreakable” and “Signs” received mixed reviews, while his more recent outings, “The Last Airbender” and “After Earth,” were almost universally panned. His latest film, “The Visit,” was a micro-budget success that could signal a return to form. Shyamalan is known for his twist ending. Maybe this one will swing him back on top.
“Split” debuts in theaters on January 20, 2017.
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