Now that this is out of the way, let's talk about what a superb movie this was!
If you can't tell already, I really liked this movie. So what is this movie about? IMDb has the synopsis pretty simple and true to the fact - Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, and must try and escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th. This is exactly what the movie is about, with some other story bits added in for effect and story.
DID - Dissociative Identity Disorder, or what used to be Multiple Personality Disorder, or what used to be a case of the crazies, is a case where one person has several different personalities who may or may not know about each other. Usually one or two of the personalities are in control, but often times they aren't always aware of each other so they come forward when the case provides.
Kevin, the actual person has 23 personalities, and while the movie doesn't delve too far into what created his personalities, the audience does see bits in the personalities of who Kevin really is and what happened to cause the splits. Now Kevin isn't the one in charge, even though he is the original personality, the ones in charge have tried hard to push the others back, and with the help of a child-like personality these personalities are able to force their way into the forefront.
When three teen girls are abducted, they must figure out a way to escape, or die. One of the girls, Casey, is apparently the one who understands what it takes to survive, and as the movie progresses we see Casey struggle not only with her own past and present but with her will to live, and escape.
I have to say James McAvoy proved his ability to act just by going through some of the different personalities. The accents, the mannerisms, the different way each personality sits or cocks their heads, he pulled them all off and I could see the changes in the actor, so well done. While I would have liked a touch more about his childhood trauma, I don't think it would have added much to the story as it really wasn't about what created the personalities, it was about Casey, and how Kevin was changing into something greater.
Parts of the movie were humorous, but looking beyond the humor what I was left with was a frightened young boy who was trying his best to not only be noticed but to also be told that he mattered. Child abuse was a heavy topic in this movie, not only through Kevin, but one of the young female characters, and at times it was hard to watch. Hopefully the ending of these stories is as satisfying to those of you who have yet to see the movie, as they were to me.
Lastly, at the end of the movie there is a reference to another of Shyamalan's movies. It isn't in a pretentious "look at me" kind of way, it is more of a nod to another extraordinary character he has created, and for those of you who have watched all of his movies, I think you will appreciate this last little twist.
Do I think you should see this movie? Yes, but don't go in expecting horror. While it does have some horrific scenes, it is really more of a psychological suspense, almost Hitchcockian, but not quite as brilliant. So yeah, go see this, and enjoy it. I did, and I have to say, it not only was a true character study, but it was also the push I've needed to get to work on one of the characters in my last zombie novel. Well done.