Split ⭐⭐1/2

This reminds me of the 1976 TV miniseries Sybil (in which Sally Field’s character has multiple personalities disorder) but given a sci-fi twist and injected with a little bit of horror thriller DNA. There is a good gem of an idea here but the film settles too comfortably into the abduction thriller genre when increasing conventionality and contrivances stymie my enjoyment of what could’ve been a joyously silly B-movie climax. (For which see last year’s 10 Cloverfield Lane, from which I definitely get a sense of déjà vu here.)  The best thing elevating the film to watchable status is James McAvoy who gets to showcase his acting chops, playing the multiple personalities of his character with glee and conviction. Less promising is the obligatory undressing of the female abductees and the resolution in the end which I find a tad weak. While it is certainly the best thing M. Night Shyamalan has done in the last few years but that’s a low bar to meet and I am not certain this is the promised return to form. What it is, is his return to the kind of film that made his name and it looks like from the last scene here, that he already has in mind what he wants to revisit next and that this could be the precursor to that. While this works as a tantalizing teaser, the film judged on its own, though, doesn’t really enthral me that much.


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