|Director||M Night Shyamalan|
|Starring||James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula|
|Release||20 JAN (US) 20 JAN (UK) Certificate 15|
Strip Split down to its bare essentials and on paper it sounds very ordinary: psycho kidnaps girls; they try to escape. On film, it is a very different beast. McAvoy's multiple performances give Split a dimension that so many modern horror movies lack: an air of unpredictability. There's no twist to speak of - unless you count the bonkers last 30 seconds of the film, which honestly made me yell "What the fuck?" at the screen - but instead you remain enthralled by McAvoy's unravelling, all of which is internalised. There's a bit of standard genre schlock to wade through in the final third and a quite grim and not entirely necessary abuse sub-plot to tolerate, but otherwise Split is lean and mean and keeps you guessing.
Bravo to M Night Shyamalan, then, who has managed to deliver a fiercely effective, ferociously funny and genuinely gory horror movie, all without relying on a last act rug-pull. Hope that James McAvoy can free up his schedule to fit in a follow-up - suggested title: Split 2: We Need To Talk About Kevins - and retain his hunger, because if the last scene hints at what I think it does then we're looking at a sequel pitch that really makes the mind boggle.
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Read our review
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