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James McAvoy Plays a Terrifying Bad Guy in New M. Night Shyamalan Trailer

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In 2015, M. Night Shyamalan released his best film in years, found-footage nightmare The Visit. He returns to a conventional style with Split, which may or may not delve into the supernatural, but definitely flirts with some very weird science. It also has a killer cast; James McAvoy alone gets to play 24 different characters.

Yes. Because his character has 24 different personalities. According to the official synopsis, Split is about a guy named Kevin (McAvoy) who has shared 23 different personas with his shrink (Betty Buckley)—but actually has one more very sinister face lurking deep within. It’s slowly rising to the surface, and has compelled Kevin to kidnap three teenage girls and stash them in his basement, where they frantically fight to survive as their captor grows ever more confused and insane.


Here’s the intriguing trailer, featuring multiple McAvoys and The Witch’s breakout star, Anya Taylor-Joy, who’s barely recognizable with brown hair and a modern American accent. It looks like a dark fairy tale wrapped in a contemporary horror movie—and the ominous strings and the title typeface underline Split’s debt to Psycho, too.

And don’t forget ... Psycho had a big twist, decades before Shyamalan ever made Bruce Willis a ghost. We’ll find out if Split does when it hits theaters January 20.