When 3 teenage girls, the popular mean girls Claire (Richardson) and Marcia (Sula) and the quiet, unpopular Casey (Taylor-Joy) are kidnapped from a suburban mall carpark, the horror is only just beginning. Yeah well duh.

But as you have just shelled out good dollars for an M. Night Shyamalan movie, it really could go either way, huh?

Let me just say, Shyamalan is back to his creepy best. And no I am not kidding.

The 3 girls wake to find themselves locked in some kind of basement. There are 2 beds and a pristine bathroom and nothing else except a big, solid door. They can hear people arguing just outside the door and what follows is a roller coaster of a movie that plays cat and mouse with the audience as much as the kidnapper Barry (McAvoy) plays with the girl’s fears and emotions.

Barry is a man who we learn has 23 very distinct personalities and within a very short space of time, we are introduced to a few main players. His therapist/shrink/psychologist Karen (Buckley) is the anchor that keeps Barry and his personalities under control. It is via their conversations that we come to understand Barry and his complicated mind.

Very soon it becomes apparent that if the girls are to escape and survive their ordeal, their best chance lies not with the arrogant Claire and her ‘straight from a horror movie’ advice but with the sage, quiet skills of Casey.

Casey is an outsider and as all outsiders know, we are keen observers of the human race and can sometimes see what others cannot. It is Casey who recognises a chance to connect with one of Barry’s personalities, the child Hedwig, and perhaps save them all. Etcetera.

As I mentioned earlier, Shyamalan is back on form but it is McAvoy’s spectacular turn as Barry et al that really makes it work. A lesser actor may have been unprepared to give as much as McAvoy because it is the building of each character and their subtle nuances that we come to rely upon as the story becomes darker and deeper.

I loved it and the ending is …… unexpected. Twice

4 stars

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Written by Sue Ellen

Copywriter. Writer. Reviewer. Coffee addict. Handbag tragic. Conspiracy tin hatter. Drama Queen.