James McAvoy Will Give You Nightmares In the New ‘Split’ Trailer

So long, Professor X

by daniel barna

James McAvoy might need some major image rehabilitation when his new thriller Split finally hits theaters this January. The latest trailer leans heavily on McAvoy's Kevin, a disturbed man suffering from multiple personality disorder, who kidnaps a trio of teenage girls and keeps them locked in a subterranean dungeon. It's a startling turn for an actor we're used to seeing as the hero, and a brilliant bit of casting by M. Night Shyamalan, who's looking to build on the surprise success of his found-footage indie horror The Visit.

Anya Taylor-Joy stars as the most ambitious of Kevin's prisoners, who must find a way out of their maze-like confines before their captor's mysterious final act is complete. By the looks of it, though, this film belongs to McAvoy, who shifts from playing a curious little boy, a stern British woman, and some kind of supernatural creature from scene to terrifying scene. 

Split had its premiere at last month's Fantastic Fest, where it was confirmed that McAvoy's performance is just as unhinged as it looks. The Guardian's Jordan Hoffman called it "a masterful blend of Hitchcock, horror, and therapy session," and teased that we can expect a trademark Shyamalan twist that drops like a "neutron bomb." Consider us sold.

Split hits theaters January 20. Watch the chilling new trailer above.