The just-released trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming movie, Split looks like a combination of 10 Cloverfield Lane and Sybil — and it turns out, at least in trailer form, that’s a pretty frightening combination. (Much more frightening than, say, the combination of The Crucible and Sonic the Hedgehog that was The Village or the combination of Hitchcock and plants in The Happening).
The film seems to start as yet another abduction drama — until it turns out that, as in 10 Cloverfield Lane, there’s more to it than an evil man imprisoning and psychologically (and potentially physically) people, namely young women: in this story, that man also happens to be 23 men. For James McAvoy stars as Kevin, a character with dissociative identity disorder — or some Shyamalanian supernatural take on it. (Though the film looks to get its title from the now-rejected term “split personality disorder.”)
McAvoy’s character kidnaps a group of girls (the central protagonist being played by Anya Taylor-Joy, from The Witch) in a parking lot, and slowly, from their basement prison, they’re introduced to his series of personalities — from what looks to be a priest to a nine-year-old boy named Hedwig to an even-tempered adult woman. And then there’s talk of one personality who we do not see, for it’s clearly one of the main sources of horror, and is being saved for the actual film: the Beast.
Of course, this wouldn’t be an M. Night Shyamalan movie without a twist, and it looks like the whole time audiences are supposed to question whether there’s a supernatural aspect to Kevin’s condition or whether it is psychologically explainable — and whether said “Beast” will materialize as something actually inhuman.
Watch the trailer: