If he continues at his current pace, M. Night Shyamalan might end up as one of modern Hollywood’s greatest redemption stories. (Imagine making that argument to somebody with a straight face right after The Last Airbender was released.) After a steep public decline in the quality of his work in the late aughts/early ’10s, Shyamalan returned to the unsettling simplicity of his early work with The Visit, a surprise success. And earlier this year, Split was the rarest of all Hollywood gifts: a genuinely good movie released in the doldrums of January. (It also grossed a clean $137 million on a budget of just $9 million, and doubled that total worldwide.)
Now, the filmmaker will seek to continue this run with something old and something new. If you haven’t yet seen Split, this is our warning to you that SPOILERS are dead ahead. And that you should really make some time to see Split.
One of the more interesting facets of Split’s climactic twist is how Shyamalan manages to bridge the story of James McAvoy’s Dissociative Identity Disorder-afflicted villain with that of Bruce Willis’s embattled David Dunn, the protagonist of Shyamalan’s revisionist superhero film Unbreakable. Fans of that earlier film have been calling for a continuation of the story between Dunn and Mr. Glass since its release in 2000, and if Shyamalan’s recent Tweets are any indication, they’ll be getting exactly that.
If ever a victory lap was well-deserved, Shyamalan deserves one for surviving at least three projects that would have sunk a less tenacious filmmaker. (And his all came in a row, no less; that run from Lady in the Water to After Earth is still staggering.) Glass now immediately joins the list of 2019’s most interesting projects on paper, and Split is currently available for home viewing.