I am a longtime fan of M. Night Shyamalan’s 2000 film “Unbreakable,” which impressed me more than his earlier breakout hit “The Sixth Sense.” More of his oddball movies followed, about one every couple of years, but I didn’t find them to be up to the standards of those previous entries. So, it was with great pleasure that I watched the back-to-back releases of his creepy “The Visit” (2015) and his unnerving “Split” (2016). When I heard that “Glass” was to be a sequel to both “Unbreakable” and “Split,” I was ready for something big.

Cut to the preview screening of “Glass,” which was known to be about Samuel L. Jackson’s malevolent “Split” character Mr. Glass. As this new film ended, and the credits rolled, there were a couple of reactions in the crowd, made up of both critics and a general viewing audience. The appreciative audience broke out into applause. The callous critics started spouting off pieces of what will likely be in their reviews: “What a dumb movie!” “Shyamalan should just hang it up.” “No need for this waste of time.”

My message to the audience: I’m with you! My advice to those critics: Lighten up, folks.

“Glass” won’t be on my top 10 list for 2019. But it’s a satisfying sequel to the pair of films that came before it, and it’s an entertaining, eerie, creepy, unnerving romp on its own. No doubt, this is going to get slammed by many critics, but if you’re a fan of “Unbreakable” and “Split,” you’re most probably going to want to see it, and will have been happy to do so.

In movie story time, this takes place 19 years after the events of “Unbreakable,” in which David Dunn (Bruce Willis) discovers that he’s invulnerable to sickness and accidents, can feel bad vibes when he brushes up against evil people, and meets mad-as-a-loon comic book expert Elijah Price aka Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). And it picks up three weeks after the conclusion of “Split,” in which the multi-personality character of kidnapper Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy) is introduced, and David Dunn has a brief cameo.

In a whirlwind intro, rogue hero David is seen walking through the streets of Philadelphia, attempting to root out the bad guys, one of whom is the person responsible for the disappearance of four young cheerleaders who, it’s already been established, have been taken and chained up by Kevin, or one of the “people” within him. Just a few minutes in, the girls are freed, David and the collective personalities known as The Horde battle it out, and the authorities nab David (they think he’s crazy) and Kevin (they know he’s bonkers), and incarcerate them at the Raven Hill Hospital, where the nutzoid and wheelchair-bound Elijah has been institutionalized for years ... about 19 years. That’s where they all meet visiting psychiatrist Dr. Ellie Staples (Sarah Paulsen), who deals with people suffering from delusions of grandeur, which is what she suspects is happening with these three, and intends, at any cost, to cure them of the “disorder” they suffer.

With a few brief flashbacks to details in the previous films, along with recurring roles by Anya Taylor-Joy (former kidnap victim), Spencer Treat Clark (David’s son), and Charlayne Woodard (Elijah’s mom), “Glass” is on the slow, quiet side (with the exception of some unearthly roars from McAvoy’s character of The Beast) for the first half. But the second one shoots up to a different level of intensity, and never lets go.

McAvoy once again gets to dance in and out of all of those personalities, jumping from one to another in an amazing set of performances. And though Willis and Jackson are right on the mark as far as playing it laidback (Willis) and in a gaudy manner (Jackson), viewers will be mesmerized by McAvoy.

Shyamalan does some nifty tying together of all three films near the end, and though he lets the story continue on a bit past where it should have all ended, “Glass” remains an enjoyable if a little too quirky film.

Ed Symkus writes about movies for More Content Now. He can be reached at esymkus@rcn.com.

“Glass”

Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan

With James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Paulson

Rated PG-13