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"There must be limits to what a human being can become."

"The Beast is a sentient creature who represents the highest form of humans' evolution. He believes the time of ordinary humanity is over. I hope this makes you feel calm. You will be in the presence of something greater."
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 two classmates 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 came out in January 2019, but to say anything about it on this page would give away said Twist Ending.

Previews: Trailer 1, Trailer 2.

Character tropes go on to the Characters Sheet.

Split contains examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Casey attempts to use Hedwig's walkie to call for help. Vince, the man on the other end, doesn't take it seriously and assumes one of his co-workers is pulling a prank and drops the call, in spite of Casey explaining to him that she's been abducted and telling him to call the police.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Attempted. One of the girls escapes this way, but she gets caught before she can get out of the building.
  • Alliterative Name: Casey Cooke, David Dunn. Given the nature of the film, this may be a deliberate choice to emphasize her role in the story. Superheroes in comic books are famous for having alliterative names, implying she's become a hero herself.
  • Alone with the Psycho: All three girls taken separately with Kevin, then Dr. Fletcher as well.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Lampshaded by Claire, who warns Casey that by taking the lift, she would have to listen to her father telling jokes only he thinks are funny.
  • 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.
  • 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 [read:impossible] to the extent of what the film portrays and most of the specific claims brought up by Dr. Fletcher are unverified. note The Beast's superpowers came from the fact that the movie took place in the same universe as Unbreakable.
  • 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 David Dunn — one of the few people that may be capable of taking him down — could soon be on his trail.
  • Berserk Button: The malevolent personalities really dislike it when Dr. Fletcher inquires about whether "Barry" is the one in control.
  • 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.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Marcia is the first one of her group to be killed (offscreen) by the Beast
  • Blood from the Mouth: The Beast after getting shot twice in the torso.
  • 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 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.
  • Bystander Syndrome: At first, Casey appears to be doing this before the audience realizes what she's doing.
  • Call-Back: When one takes into account that this film is a Stealth Sequel to Unbreakable, the flashback where Casey aims a shotgun at her uncle, while the latter tries to stop her from shooting him, has a great significance. It's referencing a scene from the aforementioned movie, where David tries to stop Joseph from shooting him with a pistol, because he wanted to see if his dad did have invincibility.
  • 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. Unlike most examples, the chair doesn't break.
  • Chekhov's Skill: A number of flashbacks showing more of Casey's past demonstrate 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.)
  • 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 (implied to be from self-harm).
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: More often than any other color, Kevin wears yellow clothes, and his hideout that the girls are trapped in has very yellowy lighting as well. Unbreakable depicted yellow as a color representing negativity or danger, summing up just why he's always associated with the color.
  • 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. As revealed in Glass (2019), it's the same character we saw in Unbreakable.
  • 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 everyday person suddenly in the middle of the rampage of a lunatic with powers beyond those of a normal person.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Implied with Casey at the end. Casey gets away from Kevin and the murders of three innocent people perfectly calmly, but she tears up when the cop tells her that her pervert uncle just showed up; after her Character Development that lets her fire the shotgun without freezing up and the proof literally written on her skin, it's implied that she's going to rat him out.
  • 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.
  • Dying Clue: Dr. Fletcher passes on a note about Kevin's full name.
  • 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.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Casey is introduced sitting sullenly alone as two classmates gripe about being forced to invite her for politeness's sake. She's an outsider.
    • Claire is first heard griping about being forced to invite the weirdo Casey to her birthday party, but when Casey gives her an excuse to leave her behind, Claire encourages her to accept her father's invitation of a ride. While Claire might be a bit stuck-up, she's ultimately a good person you can sympathize with.
    • Dennis ominously enters the drivers seat of Claire's dad's car and can't help using a napkin to deal with the trash on the dashboard. Then he knocks out the girls in the backseat. He goes back to cleaning the car.
  • 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-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.
  • Fan Disservice: The Beast. A shirtless James McAvoy is normally eye-candy, but not when his skin is covered with bulging, monstrous veins.
  • Fanservice: The film indulges in the typical "scantily clad teens in distress" convention of horror movies when the Horde forces their captives to remove clothing whenever it becomes soiled, though this time it ultimately serves a plot purpose in The Reveal.
  • 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.
  • 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.
      • This specific example doubly counts with the release of Glass, seeing that Kevin's father was a passenger on Eastrail 177.
      • 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, the Horde displays some detailed knowledge of tigers, and Dennis uses a handheld CB radio for work. Casey finds out she was being held under the Philadelphia Zoo.
    • Hedwig notes how odd it is for Casey to wear so many layers. It's later revealed that she's covering self-harm scars.
  • 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 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.
  • Hyde Plays Jekyll: The Barry personality that keeps talking to the therapist is revealed to have been Dennis the entire time pretending to be Barry. Dr. Fletcher notices he keeps adjusting things but also tries too hard to seem like he doesn't care by going straight through trash pile.
  • 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 uses Hedwig's walkie-talkie and reaches Vince, who later turns out to be the security guard at the zoo. However, he dismisses her frantic call for help as a prank call.
    • 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 both of them are killed and eaten by the Beast off-screen shortly after.
  • How's Your British Accent?: Kevin is an American, but his personalities affect a wide range of accents.
  • 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 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.
  • If We Get Through This…: While trying to break out of their adjacent rooms, Claire tells Marcia she should picture herself in a couple of hours at home, on the couch. Needless to say that neither character makes it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: The sheer efficiency with how Dennis kidnapped the girls at the beginning of the film is unsettling. Luckily, as noted below, his method is highly unrealistic.
  • 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: It's mentioned an event instigated the personalities' current action where a couple of teenage girls, on a dare, approached Kevin 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.
  • Killer Bear Hug: The Beast is so inhumanly strong that crushing someone's bones and internal organs with a hug proves to be one of its best methods of killing.
  • Locked in a Room: About 80 percent of the film takes place in the renovated industrial basement Kevin seems to live in.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Also played literally for Casey herself, since being a sexual assault survivor is what prepared her to survive as Kevin's captive, both in terms of taking the time to study his behavior as a predator in order to make sound decisions when she has to respond to him, and in terms of having the guts to pull the trigger on him.
  • 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.
  • Newscaster Cameo: The TV news anchor at the end is played by Ukee Washington, the actual news anchor for KYW, which is the CBS affiliate station in Philadelphia.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Near the start of film Casey tells Marcia to pee herself to stop Dennis making her 'dance' naked. If 'dancing' meant rape, then Marcia would have been broken by it, and the beast may well have spared her – indeed, Patricia rebuked Dennis saying the 'food' would be spoiled if it 'danced' for him. Casey giving Marcia anti-rape advice may have killed her.
  • 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.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: 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. In the end, the Beast sees her self-inflicted scars and recognizes her as having been purified and strengthened by trauma, the same as him.
  • 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.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Dr. Fletcher is suspicious when Barry contradicts several of his standard behavior patterns, such as forgetting to take his art book with him and walking straight through a pile of trash. She believes that one of Kevin's other personalities is masquerading as Barry to prevent Barry from warning her about their plans.
  • 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: Claire and Marcia are rather typical cliquish teens, but they occasionally make earnest attempts to connect with the loner Casey. Claire's Establishing Character Moment is encouraging Casey to accept a ride home, even though we know that Claire doesn't really like her.
  • 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.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Barry keeps sending messages to Dr. Fletcher to meet her so he can warn her of the Horde's plans, but he never just includes the warning in one of his messages, which allows the Horde to keep their plot a secret.
  • 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. We see part of her Skype lecture later.
  • Rape as Backstory: Casey's past, with incest being a compounding factor.
  • 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 child molester.
  • 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 really 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:
  • 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 Siegel,note  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.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": Can be heard when the Beast crushes Dr. Fletcher's rib cage.
  • 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 hero origin story.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Take That!: Dr. Fletcher, in response to her associate Jai, played by Shyamalan himself, eating chicken wings from Hooters, derides it as an exploitation of humanity's love of fatty food and men's love for big mammaries, dropping this gem:
    "It's like Henry V ran a fast food franchise."
  • 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.
  • Trapped-with-Monster Plot: The climax has Casey in an enclosed environment trying to get away from the Beast.
  • 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.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: The three girls are sedated in a car and wake up as Bunker Girls.
  • 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 the top of David Dunn's head behind the woman wondering about "that crazy guy in the wheelchair".
  • Women Are Wiser: Discussed. In a flashback scene, Casey's father mentions that female deer are smarter than male adding that the same is true for humans.


Video Example(s):


Split twist

The ending of Split reveals that the film is a sequel to Shyamalan's Unbreakable.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheReveal

Media sources: