The Best M. Night Shyamalan Movie Is Now On Netflix 

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Updated

If you haven’t watched the Unbreakable trilogy, you are missing out. The second film of the three, Split, is arguably one of the best horror films of all time, and it’s streaming on Netflix now. Go watch it. 

Everyone Wanted More Shymalan After The Release Of The Sixth Sense

M. Night Shyamalan saw huge success with his breakout film, The Sixth Sense, a psychological thriller about a little boy, played by Haley Joel Osment, who could “see dead people,” and the psychiatrist, played by Bruce Willis, trying to help him. Not only was the movie a hit, but we all craved more from Shyamalan. 

Split Is A Sequel To Unbreakable

m. night shyamalan

His next film however, was more of a sleeper film. The first in the Unbreakable trilogy, Unbreakable (released in 2000) was a film about a man, David Dunn, who survives a tragic train wreck, where everyone else dies, without a scratch on him. He soon realizes he has never been sick a day in his life, but he doesn’t know why. A man in a wheelchair named Elijah Price, played by Samuel L. Jackson, shows up to reveal that Dunn is a superhero and that he, Price, is his villain. 

While Unbreakable did well at the box office, and even better over time as more people picked up on what a good film this really is, Split, the sequel, was a breakout success. 

Why Split Is So Great

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I honestly had no idea what I was watching when I sat down to watch Split. I knew I liked Shyamalan’s films. By this time, he had made The Village, Signs, Lady in the Water, and The Happening, all films I loved. Split was released in 2016, almost two decades after Unbreakable, and I had no idea the two were even related. I sat and watched this horror film with a mixture of awe and physical revulsion (that’s a good thing in a horror film). Viewers watch on in terror, hoping for the survival of the victim but also deeply sympathetic with the villain. 

The Plot

In Split, we meet Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), a man with 23 personalities, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. And 22 of those personalities are afraid of one of them, the monster within. As we watch Crumb try to work through his issues with his therapist, played by Betty Buckley, we are also watching one of Crumb’s personalities kidnap three teenage girls, one of whom is played by the brilliant Anya Taylor-Joy. He proceeds to lock them in a dark room in a dark basement. We have no idea why. 

From this point in Split, everything goes sideways in the most delicious ways. We discover that the “monster” personality inside Crumb believes that trauma (the leading cause of multiple, or split, personalities) leads to genuine superpower abilities. Indeed, the scene in which Crumb transforms into a legitimate monster is riveting. He also believes that everyone who has not undergone trauma should, and he’s here to facilitate that. 

Split Receives Massive Praise

This movie was an enormous success. It made $278 million at the box office on a $9 million budget. It has received a 77 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 62 on Metacritic. 

Since then, Unbreakable has also come out as a must-see film, with Time Magazine calling it one of the top 25 best superhero films and Quentin Tarantino calling it one of the 10 best films released since 1992. 

Glass, the third film in the trilogy, wraps up the connection among Crumb, Dunn, and Price, and while it didn’t receive near the acclaim the first two films did, you need to watch it just to complete the saga. 

Now Available On Netflix

split m night shyamalan

If you have not seen Split yet, stream it on Netflix now. I would recommend watching Unbreakable first, just for the sake of chronology, but you can absolutely watch Split with no knowledge whatsoever of Unbreakable