It must be difficult for M. Night Shyamalan to get work, but he still gets it. Yes, we will always have his 1999 hit film with The Sixth Sense. However, he then did the only decent Unbreakable and then his films got progressively worse after that. He hit rock bottom with his adaptation of the hit Nickelodeon series with The Last Airbender, and then the Will Smith/Jaden Smith science fiction film After Earth. While his most recent film The Visit achieved mixed reviews, his next film of Split appears to be the director returning to his roots, and what is hopefully his next hit. This is everything known about M. Night Shyamalan's Split release date, cast, and how he desperately needs this to work.
The new trailer for Split has appeared which you can view below, and it looks very promising. It looks to be some serious suspense, if not getting into the horror realm. M. Night Shyamalan was always good at suspense, but he never really went into the horror realm. Even The Sixth Sense, with its emphasis on ghosts, is less of a horror film than it is compelling drama.
When The Sixth Sense hit theaters, people were comparing the writer and director to that of Alfred Hitchcock. Not only was he creating stories that would be fit for Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but he also had a cameo in every film he was in, just like the late Hitchcock.
Unfortunately, his popularity quickly fell as Signs and The Village were not well-received, and when he did the epic fantasy of The Last Airbender and space saga of After Earth, it was apparent that the director's strength was not in the blockbuster, but the simple suspense. It got so bad for him that the Internet was banding together to send the director back to film school.
Split is a definite return to form for Shyamalan. The plot revolves around a kidnapper of three girls that has multiple personalities, played by James McAvoy. McAvoy shifts his personalities so that sometimes he is the victim, and sometimes he is the agent.
Apparently, McAvoy's character has over 23 identities, and the trailer reveals that his physiology changes. One of these personalities is a beast, and it looks like the plot make take a supernatural turn.
All I have to say to that is: please don't take that supernatural turn. Shyamalan has proven himself as a competent director who can write a realistic story, and the less supernatural that is in it, the better. Also, I said before that Shyamalan has never gone full horror, but this Split movie is dangerously close to slasher-film territory.
As a writer myself, I understand that it is not possible to create a gem every time, especially when you are producing fictional works like movies. I'm rooting for Shyamalan because I enjoyed his earlier works, and this film feels like it could be one of them.