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In short, this is Charles Xavier if his mind was unstable.

"Tonight is a sacred night. You will be in the presence of something greater. The world will understand now. The beast is real."
Kevin (Dennis)

Split is a 2017 horror/thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, starring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula and Betty Buckley.

Teenager Casey Cooke (Taylor-Joy) and her friends are abducted and held prisoner by Kevin (McAvoy), a mentally-ill man with no less than 23 personalities, some more dangerous than others. As the girls seek escape, Kevin has meetings with his psychiatrist Dr. Fletcher (Buckley) and finds his multiple identities destabilizing further and approaching war with one another. To top it all off, a 24th personality is apparently emerging...

Being a Shyamalan film, the movie has dozens of twists and turns along with his iconic Mandatory Twist Ending. A sequel will be released in January 2019, but to say anything about it on this page would give away said Twist Ending.

Previews: Trailer 1, Trailer 2.


This film provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Kevin has his mother, who threatened him to death. His mother is also the Greater-Scope Villain of the film, as she caused Kevin to create his personalities.
  • Adult Fear: The sheer efficiency with how Dennis kidnapped the girls at the beginning of the film is unsettling.
  • Affably Evil: Neither Dennis nor Patricia are sadistic or cruel to the girls. Patricia tries her best to comfort them in their last hours, and Dennis looks like he'd get along very well with Dr Fletcher if he wasn't so obsessed with the Beast. Even the Beast has moments of this; his Pre-Mortem One-Liner to Dr. Fletcher expresses genuine gratitude for everything she's done for them.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Attempted. One of the girls escapes this way, but she gets caught before she can get out of the building.
  • Alone with the Psycho: All three girls taken separately with Kevin, then Casey at the end.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Beast has the combined powers of various animals from the zoo Kevin worked at.
  • Alliterative Name: Casey Cooke. Which makes her a good match for David Dunn.
    • Similar to Clark Kent, Kevin Crumb had the same sounds, if not the same letters.
  • And I Must Scream: The most dominant personality Kevin has is Barry, an outgoing and friendly guy with an eye for art and fashion and holds the others in check. Dennis, Patricia and Hedwig are close behind. Others get a chance to take control or be "in the light" but are otherwise fleeting. This becomes even more clear as Dr. Fletcher realizes that Kevin's e-mails and last minute meetings with her originate from the other personalities trying to warn her that Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig are trying to bring the Beast out and are impersonating Barry. Dr. Fletcher knows something is very wrong when she gets 20 different e-mails from Barry's account (23 - 20 = 3). The actual Kevin personality is only seen briefly near the end, unaware that years have passed since he's been out and is horrified to learn he did something really bad.
  • Anti-Villain: The term villain in this movie should be used loosely, since Kevin, as in Kevin, the original personality, is portrayed as more of a victim than villain:
    • Poor Kevin manages to come out briefly to ask Casey to shoot him before the Beast personality manages to retake control.
    • Throughout the movie, Dr. Fletcher goes into intricate detail on how the multiple personalities were created to protect Kevin and mentions she can tell he does not wish to do bad things, since some of his personalities reach out to her for help.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Dennis and Patricia don't take any pleasure in the girls' suffering, and Dennis especially is sincerely sorry when he knocks out Dr. Fletcher and leaves her for the Beast.
  • Artistic License Biology: The main premise of the movie comes from the idea that people with multiple personalities like this can actually change their body chemistry with each individual. This is reflected in that Dennis needs glasses, while one briefly shown personality, Jade, has diabetes and needs insulin shots. The Beast is capable of extreme abilities like Super Toughness, Super Strength and Wall Crawling, which includes a Transformation Sequence of sorts as his body locks into place. This claim has legitimately gone around in some medical circles and is being researched, although it is unlikely to the extent of what the film portrays and most of the specific claims brought up by Dr. Fletcher are unverified. The Beast's superpowers came from the fact that the movie took place in the same universe as Unbreakable.
  • Ax-Crazy: Kevin — or rather, Dennis — is not of sound mind. He only gets worse when the Beast surfaces.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Beast emerges, kills three people to prove his point, and manages to escape. The only upsides are that one of his victims made it out alive, people know who he is now, and that David Dunn — one of the few people that may be capable of taking him down — could soon be on his trail.
  • Bald of Evil: Kevin keeps a very short buzz cut, which augments the evil factor of his evil personalities. Notably Barry, normally The Heart of the personalities, seems to prefer wearing a wool cap, which makes it seem like he has hair and thereby more personable. Also serves as a minor contrast to David Dunn's Bald of Awesome.
  • Berserk Button: The malevolent personalities really dislike it when Dr. Fletcher inquires about whether "Barry" is the one in control.
  • The Berserker: Even after being shot two times by a shotgun, the Beast doesn't even flinch. He has a moment of appearing surprised, then returns to his previous actions.
  • Big Bad: The Beast, Kevin's 24th personality.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Dennis and Patricia are in charge of Kevin throughout most of the film thanks to their manipulation of Hedwig.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Casey survives, but the Beast is still at large, her friends are dead, and she still has her abusive uncle to deal with. On a positive note, her traumatic experience has left her in a better state to confront her abuser and David Dunn is now aware of the Beast himself.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The Beast has some unconventional views on human nature. In particular, only those who have endured great suffering deserve to live.
  • Body Horror: Kevin's body also begins to start changing along with his personalities, on a few occasions contorting his body unnaturally while his bones snap and crack horrifically to suit it.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: From what little we see of her, the Jade personality acts like this.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: When Dennis chooses Marcia for an unknown activity (it's later revealed he wanted her to dance naked), Casey tells her to pee herself as she is being pulled into another room. Ten seconds later, Dennis throws her back in, wiping his hand off, and it's shown she did as Casey said. As Super OCD Dennis is a Neat Freak, this was especially repulsive to him. It also foreshadows the reveal that Casey has been sexually abused and knows better than the others how to deal with these situations.
  • Broken Bird: Casey, thanks to being abused by her uncle. It ultimately makes the Beast spare her.
  • Bystander Syndrome: At first, Casey appears to be doing this before the audience realizes what she's doing.
  • The Cameo: One that ends the movie: David Dunn from Unbreakable is seen at a diner talking to a patron about the incident, along with the one that happened in the 2000 film.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: As Patricia prepares sandwiches for Casey and Marcia, Marcia decides to try to escape and smashes her chair on Patricia's back. Patricia quickly recovers, and chases after her.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Casey's implied sexual abuse at the hands of her uncle becomes important at the end of the film, as it makes her "pure" in the eyes of the Beast and is the reason he lets her live.
    • Also what appears to be her penchant for covering up by wearing multiple layers of clothing. As explained in the Clothing Damage section, she loses each of those layers until she is left wearing a tank top that exposes the scars on her body. This gives The Beast a hint at her suffering, as he decides to spare her.
  • Chekhov's Skill: A number of flashbacks showing more of Casey's past demonstrates how she knows how to handle herself. More specifically, a hunting trip shows that she knows how to use a shotgun.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: This is how the movie presents Dissociative Identity Disorder as happening. The alternate personalities are so certain of their traits that they become physically real. The Beast is so convinced of its power that it has Super Strength, is Made of Iron, and can Wall Crawl. (Some researchers credit people with DID as having this ability in real life, a position which is controversial, to say the least.)
  • Closed Circle: About 80 percent of the film takes place in the renovated industrial basement Kevin seems to live in. The rest of the film is at Dr. Fletcher's home office and a handful of other places.
  • Clothing Damage: Done as an important plot development. Dennis requests the girls remove their clothes after they get dirty making certain escapes. As Clair and Marcia are quickly left in their underwear, Casey had on more layers to stay covered up. As the Beast is chasing her at the end, she gets her outerwear torn up and she is left in a tiny tank top, revealing that she has many scars on her shoulders and stomach (it's unclear where, exactly, they came from, but it is obvious her uncle and guardian abused her). The Beast realizes she was similarly broken unlike the other girls, and he leaves her alone.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Hedwig is mostly just off as opposed to being malevolent, behaving similarly to any kid with an Ambiguous Disorder (in this case, an odd mix of ADD with a few sociopathic traits thrown in for good measure).
  • Condescending Compassion: Patricia in a nutshell.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Both the initial title screen and the end credits have a background of 24 tiny mirrors of what is on the screen, reflecting the 24 personalities Kevin has.
  • Creator Cameo: As per Shyamalan tradition, the man himself makes a brief appearance as a computer tech. It's ambiguous as to whether or not this is the same character that we saw in Unbreakable.
  • Creepy Child: Kevin's Hedwig personality is a nine year old child. He's as naive and emotionally unstable as a small child but with the physical strength of an adult. Even ignoring his physical age, his excitement over the Beast's abilities and disconnection from the pain he's causing would be pretty creepy anyway.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: Patricia, Kevin's female personality. Not so much with what little we see of Jade, his other feminine persona who seems to be a fairly normal alternate.
  • Creepy Uncle: Through Casey's childhood flashbacks, it's revealed that her uncle's actually a real sick piece of work. The "games which he played" with Casey wherein "they pretended to be animals" are heavily implied to be something much nastier, especially when he asked her to take her clothes off as "animals don't wear clothes". The obvious abuse only got worse when Casey's father died and her uncle became her guardian, a thing that eventually led to multiple scars on her body and/or Casey's self-harm which is common on abused children.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • The Beast crushes Dr. Fletcher to death with his bare hands.
    • Once the Beast arrives, he disposes of Casey's friends by cannibalizing them.
  • Damsel in Distress: Casey and her friends are locked up in Kevin's basement. They make great efforts to escape throughout the film, though without much success.
  • Deadly Hug: The Beast murders Dr. Fletcher by hugging her from behind and crushing her to death.
  • Deconstruction: Like Unbreakable deconstructed the idea of a superhero, this film deconstructs the idea of a supervillain, showing how absolutely horrifying it'd be to be a normal every day person suddenly in the middle of the rampage of a lunatic with powers beyond those of a normal person.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Kevin's dad is mentioned as having left him at a train station, which is why he imagines the Beast residing there. Taking it with the Twist Ending, it's highly likely his father died in the Eastrail 177 crash.
    • Casey's dad died of a heart attack when she was young.
  • Driven to Suicide: When Kevin finally reemerges and discovers the Beast has murdered Dr. Fletcher, he tells Casey where his shotgun is and tells her to kill him. Though it should be noted that only Kevin feels this way, his other good personalities want to stop the evil ones, but don't want to die.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: Done in a very subtle way, the final scene doesn't change, per se, what we see happen, but it does provide greater context to what is happening. The film takes place in the same universe as Unbreakable, with Bruce Willis reprising David Dunn in the ending scene. Viewing the events of Split through the rules established by Unbreakable makes you realize this is a Super Villain Origin Story.
  • Enemy Within: Part of the plot involves an internal struggle between Kevin's identities.
  • Environmental Symbolism: The girls figure out early on that the space they are being held is a series of locked doors and labyrinth tunnels, making an escape that much more difficult. It's also a good indicator of what it must be like inside Kevin's mind.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Patricia is adamant that Dennis not abuse the girls, and after Casey attempts to manipulate Hedwig, Dennis seems sincere when he expresses disapproval for the way she scared the child.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Beast is one to David Dunn. They both have similar powers, but whereas David is a Reluctant Hero who wishes to simply have a normal life, the Beast is a cannibalistic Social Darwinist who wants to commit genocide on people he feels is unworthy of life.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: As the Beast returns back to Kevin's house, he runs past some guards with a dog that starts barking at him.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Averted in the case of Dennis and Patricia, both of whom are soft-spoken. Played straight with the Beast, who is as unrestrained in his speech as he is in his actions.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The Beast is the most evil and powerful out of Kevin's personalities, and he suitably gets the deepest, most threatening tone out of all of them.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • We'd see scenes of the kidnapped women in their underwear, but given the situation they're in, it's in no way played for eye candy.
    • The Beast. A shirtless James McAvoy is normally eye-candy, but not when he's playing a monster so convincingly.
  • The Fashionista: Barry, normally the dominant personality, is big into fashion and enjoys dabbling in his own sketches.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Barry tries to do this through e-mailing his doctor to schedule appointments. Dennis learns of these and impersonates Barry in order to try and give off the impression that nothing is wrong.
  • Final Girl: Casey becomes this, after both her friends and Dr. Fletcher are killed by the Beast.
  • Foil: The Beast is one to Elijah Price/Mr. Glass. Both were raised primarily by their mothers and had a less-than-stellar home life, but for completely opposite reasons. Elijah was bullied for his condition that made his bones as brittle as glass, and Kevin is now feared for the condition that resulted in his super-strength. Ultimately, both paths set them towards meeting David Dunn.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: In the ending scene, the camera pans past David Dunn's green raincoat a few moments before its owner appears in the diner.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The twist that the film is set the same universe as Unbreakable is foreshadowed by monumental amounts:
      • The 'two types of villain' thing established in the first film fits Dennis and Patricia like a glove: the 'soldier villain' who fights the heroes with his hands (Dennis is the most physically powerful of Kevin's personalities sans the Beast, but subservient to Patricia) and the 'brilliant and evil archenemy who fights the hero with his mind' (Patricia, who is the mastermind of the entire thing). While the Beast is very powerful, he also shows some degree of intellect by taking out the lights so Casey can't target him effectively, showing traits of both types.
      • The arch villain is the exact opposite of the hero. Depending on who the hero is, this works both ways. While Kevin and Casey have similar pasts, their ways of dealing with it are complete opposites, with Casey relying on learning ways to deal with it while Kevin created Dennis to deal with it for him. If it's the Beast and David Dunn who are the opposites, then it's their worldview: David is a Reluctant Hero while the Beast revels in its power and believes itself superior.
      • Patricia and Dennis were called 'the Horde' by the other personalities long before their Split-Personality Takeover. Just like Mr. Glass got his moniker a long time before he became a supervillain. The Beast was referred to as such by the Horde for some time before it actually emerged, as it was the reason they were locked up in the first place.
      • Kevin's evil personalities are shown several times with their eyes wide, fitting the 'villains have large eyes' rule.
      • Patricia, who's the leading evil personality, is introduced wearing a red shirt. Red is one of the colors associated with villains in Unbreakable. In addition, Hedwig is introduced wearing a yellow jacket, which was also one of the colors associated with villains. On top of that, Casey starts the film wearing a red plaid jacket, subtly implying her seeming obstructive behavior. The jacket gets taken, leaving her in a grey long-sleeved shirt. The shirt gets taken, leaving her in a thin white t-shirt. The t-shirt gets torn off in a scuffle with the Beast, leaving her in a small tank top colored olive green, green being David Dunn's heroic color.
      • Dr. Fletcher talks about what people with Dissociative Identity Disorder, Kevin in particular, are capable of accomplishing mirrors the same rhetoric that Elijah would use when describing how people could have actual superpowers. She even mentions that it could be a connection to the paranormal.
      • The Beast emerges as Kevin is in a train car. David was also put on his path due to being on a train.
      • Something of a Spoiler Title, "Split" is one word and thematically similar but opposite to "Unbreakable." One poster even has a cracked glass look, similar to the posters for Unbreakable, and in fact the two posters' cracks line up if the two are set side by side.
    • A subtle indication that the Beast is an actual alter ego and not just a story Patricia and Dennis made up: the opening credits are shown with large text in the center of the screen, with the background split into a grid of twenty-four smaller versions.
    • Kevin mentions that he followed Claire and Marcia for several days before the abduction, meaning he carefully planned his target. He did not plan on taking Casey, but had to given the circumstances. He chose Claire and Marcia because he viewed them as shallow, sheltered girls, making them impure because they didn't understand pain and trauma. When the Beast sees Casey's self-abuse scars, he acknowledges her implied trauma and declares her to be pure because of it, and leaves her alone.
    • The location that the girls are being held is kept somewhat vague until the end, but is given plenty of hints that are obvious in hindsight. An incident mentioned with some teenage girls indicates it's a public place that schools visit, there are frequent mentions of comparing animals to The Beast, one tank mentions chlorine, Hedwig's room is filled with animal figurines, and Dennis uses a handheld CB radio for work. Casey finds out she was being held under the Philadelphia Zoo.
  • Freudian Excuse: Truth in Television: Kevin's personalities were each created to protect him from some form of trauma or other issue he can't deal with himself. Dennis was created to deal with his mother's abuse and has Super OCD because keeping everything neat and tidy prevented him from being hurt.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: How Kevin's mother screamed at him as a kid. It can also force Kevin to emerge, though this causes chaos between the other personalities.
  • Hope Spot: Several.
    • The girls realize that there is a covered vent in the ceiling. One of them even manages to escape the room through it, but Dennis recaptures her.
    • Hedwig says he has a window in his room and Casey asks if she can see it... It's only a crayon drawing of a window.
    • Casey manages to use Kevin's trigger (which Dr. Fletcher managed to write down before she was killed) to force Kevin himself to emerge. However, his evil personalities manage to regain control and it won't work again, though it does show her where a weapon is and buy her time while the Beast's Painful Transformation happens.
    • Marcia, with Claire's encouragement, is just barely able to open the slide bolt on the other side of her door, with a bent metal clothing hanger. However, it's all for naught, as the both of them are killed and eaten by the Beast off-screen shortly after.
  • Hyde Plays Jekyll: Dennis pretends to be Barry during their meetings with Dr. Fletcher, so that Barry can't reveal their Evil Plan to her. She realizes it's not Barry because of his Super OCD and he's lacking Barry's extroverted personality.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: The actual Kevin shows up near the end and is horrified to learn what he has done, and quickly informs Casey where to find a shotgun and shells so that she can kill him before he does any more harm.
  • I Know Kung-Fu: Mocked, as Claire suggests they all try to rush Kevin at the same time, saying she took 6 months of Kenpo karate. Casey dismisses the plan as folly, after already getting a glimpse of how strong Dennis is.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Beast is a cannibal, and eats Casey's friends after emerging.
  • Immune to Bullets: Downplayed: Casey shoots the Beast point-blank with a shotgun twice. While it isn't enough to kill him, it still hurt a lot and lefts some wounds.
  • Implacable Man: The Beast. Dr. Fletcher tries stabbing him? The knife breaks. Casey locks him in a room? He just rips the door open, destroying the lock like it's nothing. Casey shoots him twice at point-blank range after he dodges multiple shots? He just gets right back up, not even badly hurt. She locks herself inside a cage to keep him away? He begins bending the bars open with his bare hands. The only thing that even slows him down is her briefly making Kevin reemerge, and that only stops him long enough for her to escape. In the end, she only manages to hold him off long enough for him to notice her scars and choose to spare her.
  • Insane Equals Violent: The plot kicks off with a man with DID kidnapping teenage girls, and it only gets worse for them from there. Played With, however, in that before the Horde took over, Kevin was actually high functioning, holding a steady job, and not a threat to anyone else. It was only once his malevolent personalities managed to take over that he fell into this trope.
  • Instant Sedation: Kevin's improbably fast acting can of aerosolized anesthetic.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Kevin's personalities range from benevolent to utterly monstrous. In fact, most of Kevin's personalities are actively trying to stop his evil ones but have lost control. Like Hyde, they all do things for Kevin that he cannot do for himself.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Hedwig is fully aware that the Beast does "horrible things" to people and doesn't seem at all bothered that the girls he's chatting with are about to become victims. He is also quite gleeful about being the one in charge of which alter gets to control Kevin's body, and shows a disturbing excitement about the power he wields.
    • It's mentioned an event instigated the personalities' current action where a couple teenage girls, on a dare, approached him and put his hand under their shirts to embarrass him. It's left unclear if this was Claire and Marcia, or if they simply reminded him of them.
  • Mandatory Twist Ending: Probably the first Shyamalan film to capitalize and anticipate this; as a result it was a twist so big it caught even the most jaded viewers by surprise. The main story has no real twist, it plays out relatively straight with a couple of natural revelations. But it is the final scene with David Dunn that lets the audience realize the film does not exist in a vacuum.
  • Master of Your Domain: The Beast, which is why Dennis and Patricia want to bring it out.
  • Meaningful Name: Kevin Crumb, given he's a Neat Freak (in fact, a bread crumb is one thing Dennis complains about finding in the girls' clothing) and is crumbling on the inside.
  • Meta Twist: In spite of being an M. Night Shyamalan movie, the Twist Ending is not the kind of big reveal that causes you to rethink the entire movie, as the movie is essentially what the trailers made it out to be. The twist is that Split is a sequel to Unbreakable, which would make this film the first sequel that Shyamalan has ever made. And if you aren't familiar with Unbreakable, the ending of the movie still makes sense.
  • Misery Builds Character: The Beast's guiding philosophy, which proves to be the key reason why he lets Casey go free once he sees her numerous scars.
  • Missing Mom: Casey's mom is never mentioned. Since her uncle is her guardian, her mom is most likely dead or unable to care for her for reasons that could include anything from illness to abandonment.
  • Musical Spoiler: The music playing while Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig are looking over the wounds the Beast got in the final confrontation is an amalgamation of several different tracks from Unbreakable.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The original personality, Kevin, emerges near the end, and after realizing what the other personalities have done, asks Casey to kill him.
  • Neat Freak: Dennis cannot stand seeing something dirty.
  • No Range Like Point-Blank Range: Casey lures the Beast into point blank range by locking herself in a cage so there's no way he can get to her but from somewhere she can see, then blasts him in the chest twice with a shotgun (which doesn't do more than injure him somewhat). Justified, because his Super Speed means he's moving too fast for her to hit otherwise.
  • No-Sell: Dr. Fletcher tries to stab the Beast in self-defense, but not only does it not phase him at all, the knife snaps after a few stabs.
  • Not So Different: The Beast has a skewed The Social Darwinist viewpoint, that the sheltered and privileged cannot understand pain and suffering and are impure because of it. That is the reason he had the Horde abduct Claire and Marcia, believing they are inferior creatures. Casey was not intended to be a target, but he assumed she was the same as Claire and Marcia. At the end, the Beast sees her self-inflicted scars and recognizes her as having been purified and strengthened by trauma, the same as him.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Hedwig, the third of the malevolent alters, is mostly just a Creepy Child who doesn't fully comprehend the horror he's helping Dennis and Patricia to release. But without his ability to "steal the Light", i.e. take over Kevin's body and allow any of the other alters he chooses to take over in turn, they'd never have been able to go ahead with their plan, as Barry and the other alters had banished them from the Light and were keeping them at bay until they got Hedwig on their side.
  • Oh, Crap!: Dr. Fletcher's reaction to discovering the Beast is indeed a 24th split personality of Kevin's, and a potentially homicidal and violent one at that.
    • The security guard at the end when he realizes that "prank call" was real.
  • One-Word Title: As a reference to a split personalities, which plays a major part in the story.
  • Painful Transformation: The transformation into the Beast is not a pleasant one. This actually helps Casey, as she manages to escape while he's disabled by the pain of it.
  • Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality: Whether it's sexuality per se or specifically abusive sexuality is unclear, but it's suggested that Kevin has this; an incident where two teenage girls pulled Barry's hands under their shirts seems to have been the trigger for Barry losing his dominance over the others, and the fact that Hedwig becomes the one able to decide who steps into the light suggests it regressed Kevin to a child-like state. Then there's also Dennis' attempt to make one of the girls dance for him before Patricia stops him.
  • Pet the Dog: It's hard to determine, but it could be considered a pet the dog moment when the beast stops his attack on Casey when he recognizes she is also a victim by the scars scattered across her body. He stops his attack and flees after creepily citing how the impure will rule the world.
    • Claire and Marcia are close friends and evoke something of an airheaded teenage girl persona while Casey is more distant and aloof. This dynamic is important to the story, but to keep them sympathetic, Claire is shown trying to reach out and befriend Casey.
  • Police Are Useless: The two cops at the train station assume the Beast is an animal and make no attempt to pursue him. Given what the Beast would've done to them, this was probably the right call. Also, the security guard at the zoo thinks that Casey's frantic call for help is a prank and dismisses it.
  • Predecessor Villain: Kevin's mother, who abused him and created his split personalities.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Courtesy of the Beast: "Thank you for taking care of us until now."
  • Product Placement: Karen very conspicuously mentions that she's giving a remote lecture via Skype.
  • Rape as Backstory: Casey's past.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Comes up twice.
    • First when Patricia tells Dennis not to hurt the girls, although this is really just to prevent them from being "purified" by trauma.
    • Second in the flashbacks where Casey's uncle John is a pedophile.
  • The Reveal: It is kept a mystery exactly where the girls are being held until the very end, when Casey is found by a maintenance worker and helped to the surface where we see the zoo.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Many reviewers said that when The Beast emerges, the movie started to lose them, but viewed with the knowledge it is in the Unbreakable world, everything else made sense.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: 'The Horde' (Patricia and Dennis) were 'banned' Alters who weren't allowed to have any time running loose during Barry's time as the dominant personality because of their malevolent nature and beliefs about the Beast. Unfortunately, by the events of the movie, Hedwig has gained control and released them while doing the same to Kevin's benevolent personalities.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Most of Kevin's personalities are kept locked up by the evil ones due to Hedwig being manipulated by Patricia and Dennis. They'd gladly like to help the girls, and do all they can to do so, but are largely unable to act.
  • Sequel Hook: The ending teases a more conventional sequel to Unbreakable, possibly involving David Dunn going after Kevin; M. Night Shyamalan later confirmed that this was indeed the case.
  • Shapeshifter Swan Song: Done in spirit, even if not literally. Calling out the full name of Kevin Wendell Crumb causes the core, original Kevin personality to emerge, but at the cost of inciting all the other personalities to fight for control. Kevin gets to talk for a minute asking Casey to get a shotgun and kill him, and in quick succession Barry, Orwell, and Jade beg her not to, with Hedwig, Patricia, and Dennis regaining control, saying they locked Kevin away and they prepare to release the Beast once again.
  • Shout-Out: During the sequence where Casey manages to escape her room and looks at Kevin's computer, one can see a list of all the personalities Kevin has. In keeping with the film's Alfred Hitchcock-esque theme, one can see a file for a 'Norma', a reference to one of Hitchcock's famous films — Psycho (a movie that's also about a villain with the same disorder that Kevin has).
  • Shrinking Violet: Casey, who is even highlighted as a case of Loners Are Freaks.
  • Shown Their Work: The psychological aspects of dissociative identity disorder are presented accurately to how they appear in medical literature. The alternate personalities, called alters, are all concerned with either protecting Kevin or doing something for him that he can't do himself. In a similar manner, many people with mental disabilities can display incredible amounts of strength because their mental blocks are different. The other physical differences vital to the story are more debatable. All of the changes mentioned (except The Beast) have been claimed to happen, mostly by Dr. Bernie Siegelnote , but never demonstrated in medical literature.
    • Also, many of Casey's attributes are sadly accurate of real life victims of sexual abuse. Particularly her aloof demeanor and wearing multiple layers of clothing which is usually done out of a fear of intimacy and discomfort with one's own body, attempting to "desexualize" themselves.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Heavily horror-focused, though there are bits of humor in the movie (which mostly come as a result of Hedwig's unusual mannerisms).
  • Spanner in the Works: Hedwig's ability to "steal the Light" from the other alters allows Dennis and Patricia, the two malevolent alters the others had collectively banished, to return, depose Barry (who was keeping them in check), and proceed with their plan to awaken The Beast.
  • Split Personality: The film runs on this. Kevin has 23 of them even before the Beast begins to emerge. The names of all of them can be seen on a computer screen, but McAvoy only performs and is credited for 7: Dennis, Patricia, Hedwig, The Beast, Kevin Wendell Crumb, Barry, Orwell, and Jade.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Kevin has totally lost control to the alters. In fact, the video diaries suggest that the Kevin personality is #4 in the internal hierarchy. Normally, Barry is in charge, but by the time the film starts, Dennis and Patricia have taken over.
  • Start of Darkness: The entire film is Kevin/The Horde's origin as a Supervillain, in contrast to Unbreakable being David Dunn's Super Hero Origin.
  • Stealth Sequel: At the end of the film as Kevin's murders are being reported and he is named the Horde, a bar patron says that all this reminds her of a certain guy in a wheelchair 15 years ago whose name she can't recall. Her fellow patron, David Dunn (Bruce Willis) from Unbreakable, tells her the guy's name was Mr. Glass.
  • Strong Flesh, Weak Steel: Dr. Fletcher tries to defend herself from the Beast by stabbing him repeatedly with a knife. The knife doesn't do any damage and eventually snaps.
  • Superpowered Evil Side:
    • Dennis is notably physically stronger than the other personalities, capable of completely overpowering two of the girls while Hedwig was incapable of doing so.
    • While a number of Kevin's personalities are evil, the one named the Beast is this. He has Super Strength, Super Speed, can Wall Crawl, and has Super Toughness to the point of being able to withstand two shotgun blasts.
  • Super Strength: Dennis is notably much stronger than the other personalities; when the girls try barricading Kevin from the door, he was initially unable to overpower them until he became Dennis. The Beast is also the culmination of what he can achieve on this level. He breaks through a door latch through sheer muscle power, bending the lock off the frame. He later attempts to reach Casey in a large animal cage by slowly bending inch-thick bars.
  • Super Toughness: The Beast is hyped up as having skin as thick as a rhino. Dr. Fletcher tries stabbing him and the knife ends up breaking. Casey manages to shoot him twice in the chest with a shotgun; there are notable wounds, but he is still standing.
  • Supervillain: Where its predecessor, Unbreakable, deconstructed the idea of a superhero story, this film uses Beware the Superman to the fullest extent and shows what happens when a mentally ill man has similar abilities to that of the hero. It's completely terrifying, to say the least.
  • Super OCD: Dennis (as the one who protected Kevin by keeping his mother's house spotless) is distressed by anything dirty or disordered. He can, with great effort, overcome it when he has to, however.
  • The Social Darwinist: The Beast feels that those who have not been "purified" by trauma are less than human and do not deserve to live. As a result, Casey is spared when the Beast realizes she is a survivor of abuse. He also perceives himself and Kevin as being a higher stage of evolution.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: After "The Horde" escapes and reveals his new power, the Unbreakable theme kicks in for a final scene at a diner where David appears alongside other patrons watching the news report.
  • Truth in Television: The moment when Casey tells Marcia to pee herself is based on emergency tactics suggested to women if they find themselves in a worst case scenario with a sexual predator. The idea is to make yourself disgusting so as to remove the "romanticism" that motivates the person. note  It's implied that Casey learned this from being sexually abused by her creepy uncle.
  • Twist Ending: In M. Night Shyamalan's signature style, there is one. The ending reveals that the movie is actually a Stealth Sequel of Unbreakable, as David Dunn appears and even mentions Mr. Glass.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Two teenaged girls pulled a prank on Barry by pulling his hands under their shirts. It's heavily implied this incident hit one of Kevin's psychological fears or traumas, resulting in Barry losing his place as the dominant personality to Hedwig and allowing Patricia and Dennis' Split-Personality Takeover.
    • Dr. Fletcher spends a good portion of the film talking with colleagues about Kevin and others with D.I.D. and the remarkable abilities they demonstrate, believing that they could actually be an explanation of the paranormal. It's revealed that the qualities of The Beast are in part because Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig believed her and decided to test how far they could take Kevin's body.
  • Verbal Tic: Hedwig tends to add "et cetera" to the end of his sentences.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The Beast persona does not wear a shirt.
  • Walking Spoiler: Simply mentioning that David Dunn is in this movie spoils its biggest twist, even though it happens at the very end.
  • Wham Line:
    Diner Patron: This is like that crazy guy in the wheelchair that they put away fifteen years ago. And they gave him a funny name too... What was it?
    David Dunn: Mr. Glass.
  • Wham Shot: Just before the Wham Line is uttered, one can spot David Dunn behind the woman wondering about "that crazy guy in the wheelchair".
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: A major plot point of the film is that people with split personalities can alter their bodies with their thoughts. This is most clearly shown with Dennis needing glasses and being the physically strongest, as well as Jade being diabetic while none of the others are. The Beast is this taken Up to Eleven; he has superhuman powers because the other 'Horde' personalities and himself believe he's that strong.
  • Zen Survivor: Casey was a victim of abuse by her uncle, and that unpleasant experience helps her deal with her captivity better than the two other girls.

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