“23 identities live in Kevin’s body,” says a nervous psychiatrist towards the beginning of the second trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming The Split, right after we see one of those 23 personalities kidnapping a car full of teenage girls. (One of whom is The Witch‘s Anya Taylor-Joy, who ends up being the film’s protagonist.)
The trailer gradually introduces us to a handful of said identities, all of whom seem to have different motives, and some of whom Joy’s character even begins relying on to help them out of the standard elaborate subterranean creep-den (see also: 10 Cloverfield Lane). Katie Rife describes it in her review for A.V. Club:
Not all of Kevin/Dennis’ 23 distinct personalities are so cruel, though; they manifest as different ages, genders, and sexualities, including a meek young child named Hedwig. Once the girls figure this out, they start pitting the personalities against each other.
And, like 10 Cloverfield Lane, there’s also the “will it or won’t it” suspense over whether the movie will introduce a secondary supernatural scare component — with James McAvoy’s character(s) making repeated mentions of a “beast” and doctors speculating that he might be able to change the very makeup of his body.
The film had its premiere recently at Fantastic Fest, and currently holds a 78 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which, given the director’s The Village-started era of panned films, is pretty optimistic (2015’s The Visit began, it seemed, to lift the curse). Split was written, directed, and co-produced by Shyamalan, and shot by It Follows cinematographer Mike Gioulakis. It opens January 20, 2017.
Watch the new trailer: