* * (Don)
* * ½ (Joyce)
(Psychological thriller that doesn’t thrill)
M. Night Shyamalan continues to disappoint with another psychological thriller that doesn’t thrill very much. I guess we expected more from him after the brilliant “The Sixth Sense.”
“Split” is about a man (James McAvoy) with 23 different personalities (we don’t see them all) who kidnaps three teenage girls and locks them in his cellar.
Betty Buckley plays his therapist who is trying to understand and treat his dissociate identity disorder. The movie pretends to be a psychological thriller, but turns out to be just another movie about a deranged killer chasing young girls around basements.
While McAvoy gives a chilling portrayal and Buckley is convincing as the therapist, they are not enough to save this movie, which ends up like many others in the genre, with the mad man (or men) chasing people around dark corners.
Anya Taylor-Joy is good as the strong-willed victim who is haunted by an incident in her past, with Shyamalan adding more psychological pretenses with her back story.
Rated PG-13, with violence, profanity and sexual references.