M Night Shyamalan, master of horror, hopes his new film Split makes people laugh

The humour shone through the scare for director M Night Shyamalan and the actors in his latest film, “Split”, which premiered on Wednesday night.

The psychological horror thriller follows three girls as they fight to stay alive after being kidnapped by a man suffering from dissociative identity disorder, who has 24 distinct personalities.
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None of this terror was present on the red carpet, however, as the stars spoke instead about the dry wit featured in the script.

“I also hope people laugh and I also hope people have empathy and sympathy for the characters as well. It’s something that I tried to do in equal measures,” said Scottish actor James McAvoy, who plays the split personality of the title.

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Newcomer and British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) rising star nominee Anya Taylor-Joy, who plays one of the girls, said she was able to appreciate the wit of the film after shooting.

From left, director M Night Shyamalan, and actors Anya Taylor Joy and James McAvoy pose during a photo call for the movie Split in Milan, Italy. (AP)

“I loved it because I didn’t expect it to be funny”, she said.

Filmmaker Shyamalan said the idea for the horror movie had been in his notebooks for 15 or 16 years, adding that the dark and crazy tone of McAvoy’s character that inspired him to bring it to life.

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Shyamalan is known for scary movies with an intriguing twist, such as The Sixth Sense, Signs and Unbreakable.

Split opens in Indian theatres in February.

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