Split ★★

Shyamalan’s efforts to emphasize empathy for victims in the horror genre would be more moving were they not so familiar (plenty of films put us in the monster’s shoes) and were they not so literal-minded. Anya Taylor-Joy’s final girl is saddled with a backstory that would arouse more emotion were it not so boilerplate and clumsily handled, just as James McAvoy’s performance would inspire more compassion were it not so hammy and free of genuine conflict. In sum, a talky, overly expository film that is so impressed with the idea of having subtext that it forgets to make its text compelling.