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YMMV / Split

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: It's not entirely clear how the alliance between Dennis, Patricia, and Hedwig came into being. Word of God is that Dennis was recruited by Patricia because he wanted a sense of belonging. This doesn't, however, explain the origin of his alienation, and it's not hard to imagine that as the first alternate personality, he felt jealous of Barry's status as the leader. Also, given his ability to grab the Light at will, is Hedwig a new personality, or was he for some reason passive until now?
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Hedwig's dance for Casey is probably meant to show his detachment from reality, but the combination of heavy dubstep, McAvoy's… enthusiastic dancing, and Anya Taylor-Joy's blank expression propels it headfirst into this territory.
  • Broken Base: The film's depiction of mental illness has caused some division. Some feel it perpetuates the myth that Insane = Violent, others feel it generally does a decent job in depicting the disorder minus the fantastic elements (namely that Kevin's personalities are each made to deal with something he himself is unable to, with Dennis existing to deal with the trauma of his abusive mother), and point out that this is not as egregious as other examples of the trope, as out of 24 of Kevin's personalities, only 3 debatably 4 are actually malevolent at all. Also the reveal that this film takes place in a "superhero" universe and not the "real world" allows it to get away with more, as it means the film has an excuse not to try to be realistic about how split personalities work.
    • A number of multiples, both self-identified and diagnosed by doctors, have spoken out against this film as perpetuating harmful stereotypes along with exaggerated and outdated claims about the condition, and the confusion over whether this is meant to be based on real documented evidence about multiplicity or whether it's a The Incredible Hulk-like superhero movie, as above. Kevin&'s physiological changes in particular are apparently based on the claims of a handful of psychologists, notably Dr. Robert Mayer, who used to appear on tabloid talk shows talking about the amazing feats multiples were allegedly capable of, literally saying "the mind can do anything". Geraldo Rivera used to speak about the Hulk when he interviewed multiples and therapists, trying to evoke sensationalistic detail about what happens during a switch. Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Mohan Nair finally shot him down by explaining just what "physiological changes" one might really expect to see: changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and encopresis. You won't see that in a movie about this condition.
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  • Continuity Lock-Out: If someone hasn't seen Unbreakable, they will not understand the relevance of Bruce Willis as David Dunn appearing at the end. This is an especially interesting example considering that this is actually the movie's Twist Ending.
  • Epileptic Trees: A number of them started floating around after the twist that the movie is a sequel to Unbreakable, also involving Canon Welding.
    • Shyamalan played both Jai, the Hooters chicken wing lover, in this film, as well as a guy at the stadium who David senses is a drug dealer. They could be one and the same.
    • In the train station scene in Unbreakable, David senses a woman pass him with an adolescent boy and mentally "hears" her slap him and his scream of pain. Given that Kevin was abused by his mother, looks to be in his mid-20's, and it was 15 years ago, it could very well have been him.
    • It is said that Kevin's dad "left on a train" and the memory of that event is so strong that traveling to the train yard will awaken the Beast. It could be that Kevin's dad actually died in a train crash, the same train crash that David was involved with and Elijah/Mr. Glass caused, meaning he was indirectly responsible for the discovery of both a superhero and a supervillain.
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    • Casey has her own "realistic" superpower rooted in empathy; depending on how she goes with it, this could also be a superheroine origin.
  • He Really Can Act: Anyone who has followed James McAvoy's career would consider this a no-brainer, but those who only know him through the X-Men films would be amazed at how casually he can shift from one personality to the next and give each personality their own distinctive voice and quirks. Similarly, Anya Taylor-Joy plays Casey as switching from stoic to manipulative to Action Girl believably.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • James McAvoy played a younger version of Professor Xavier in the X-Men Film Series. Now, what mental handicap does Xavier's son from the comics (and upcoming series) possess?
    • Just the fact that one of the separate personalities is called Beast.
    • And as of the casting of The New Mutants, he's spent the film terrorizing Illyana Rasputin.
    • At the very least, it seems that McAvoy's finally stepping out of the superhero genre... oh. Never mind.
    • If one has seen What We Do in the Shadows, every time The Beast is mentioned, one half expects Kevin's ex-girlfriend to pop up to tell him to get a grip.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • A small one, but Dennis buying flowers for Patricia just before the Beast arrives is a sweet gesture. She's very touched.
    • A tearful Casey reaching out to Hedwig, asking for him to stay with her and getting him to "show her something cool", which turns out to be a walky talky that Hedwig stole from Dennis. Before things take a turn for the worse, the interaction in the scene is kind of sweet.
  • It Was His Sled: It hasn't taken long for the film's big twist (that it's actually a Stealth Sequel to Shyamalan's Unbreakable) to be let out of the bag, with multiple articles popping up and a resurgence for the aforementioned film featuring stills from it in relation to Split. By the time the follow-up Glass started production, the spoiler is more or less essential knowledge due to that movie's premise.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: A few people who spoiled themselves to the movie's Twist Ending went in just to see David Dunn from Shyamalan's Unbreakable make a cameo. This may have contributed to the movie's opening weekend opening well above expectations.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Help! I've been abducted by a man with split personalities."
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Casey's uncle crosses it when it turns out that he molested her on a hunting trip.
    • Outside of killing the two kidnapped girls, Kevin's Beast personality crossed the point of no return when he killed his only Morality Pet in Dr. Fletcher. Notably, Kevin himself feels this way, as he tries to get Casey to kill him after finding out that it happened.
    • Let's just say that Kevin's mother is responsible for the birth of all the other personas.
    • In-universe, it's been fifteen years since Mr. Glass' terrorist acts and they have not been forgotten.
  • Narm:
    • In the trailer, Kevin claiming that one of his split personalities has done awful things to people and will do awful things to the girls is creepy… but the dopey ":D" face he makes immediately after that kind of kills the tension. Given that the personality speaking is Hedwig, that might be the point. It should be noted, though, that the aforementioned Narm comes in as a result of poor editing — in the movie itself, Hedwig talks a bit more after finishing his line, meaning that the shot doesn't actually end that way in the movie itself.
    • The first words spoken by the Beast are softly-spoken and genuinely chilling, but some might feel that his later Evil Is Hammy No Indoor Voice goes too far. Especially with The Beast preaching about evolution superiority, which makes him sound like he's channeling Apocalypse levels of Large Ham.
    • Throughout the film, James McAvoy uses a wide variety of accents for all of his personalities, plus body-owner Kevin. The fact that the Beast's voice is just McAvoy's normal accent, with a deeper voice, turns him into Nightmare Retardant.
      • Should be noted that McAvoy's actual accent is Scottish, not English. Though the image of the Beast saying "pure" and "rejoice" in a deep Highlander accent is just that much funnier.
    • Casey's hilariously distracting bouncing chest as she flees from the Beast in the climax can remove much of the tension.
  • One-Scene Wonder: David Dunn appears for only one scene towards the very end, but it's more than enough to make it one of the film's biggest (and most spoilery) highlights.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • While Kevin has 24 split personalities by the time the film ends, we only get to see about a third of them in the movie itself. And in the sequel, Glass, Kevin dies and we don't get to see the rest of his personalities before he dies. The same applies to Kevin as well, we get about 1 minute of him in screen, and he doesn't interact properly with Casey or any of the other characters before being controlled by the Horde again.
    • After the Beast is initially banished, it briefly looks like Hedwig will have a case of The Dog Bites Back and take over as the Final Boss. But, no, after only a few moments in control, Hedwig gives power right back to Dennis and Patricia, who immediately re-summons the Beast.
  • Unexpected Character: David Dunn, who originated in a different film.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Most reviews have praised this film, and it currently has a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was also a financial success, topping the box office for three weekends in a row - the first Shyamalan film to do so since The Sixth Sense. With this film, the first season of Wayward Pines, and The Visit, M. Night Shyamalan seems to have managed a Career Resurrection.


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