Director M. Night Shyamalan returns to eerie-good form with Split, a creepy suspense thriller elevated by James McAvoy’s chilling, first-rate performance as a man afflicted with dissociative identity disorder, or split personalities. McAvoy’s Kevin has 23 distinct alternate personages already bouncing around in his head, with a 24th—stronger and more menacing than the others—threatening to emerge.
Dennis, one of Kevin’s more dominant personas, kidnaps three high-school girls from a suburban Philadelphia mall and locks them in a threadbare basement that’s equipped with a blindingly clean bathroom (Dennis is a germophobe); he then informs them that they are “sacred food” to be sacrificed to a soon-to-arrive beast. Two of the girls, besties Marcia (Jessica Sula) and Claire (Haley Lu Richardson), are, understandably, scared out of their minds. But outsider Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) takes a more measured approach to their predicament, the reason for which is revealed in a series of