Split, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, is a psychological thriller that delves into the complexities of dissociative identity disorder (DID) and the impact it has on the lives of those affected. The film opens with the abduction of three teenage girls - Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), Claire Benoit (Haley Lu Richardson), and Marcia (Jessica Sula) - by a mysterious man named Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy).

Abduction and Introduction to Kevin's Identities

The story kicks off with the girls waking up in a secluded underground facility, realizing they have been kidnapped. As they try to understand their captor, they quickly discover that Kevin has multiple personalities, each with its own distinct characteristics. Some of the notable identities include Dennis, Patricia, Barry, Hedwig, and the Beast. Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley), a psychologist specializing in DID, becomes a parallel narrative, as she attempts to understand and communicate with Kevin's various identities.

Casey's Backstory and Struggle for Survival

As the girls navigate their terrifying predicament, the film delves into Casey's past through a series of flashbacks. These sequences reveal her troubled childhood, marked by abuse and trauma. Casey's ability to connect with Kevin on a deeper level becomes a focal point, shedding light on the complexities of human psychology and the unique relationship between captor and captive.

Emergence of the Beast

The tension escalates when the 24th personality, known as "the Beast," is introduced. Described as a superhuman with enhanced physical abilities, the Beast becomes a formidable threat to the captives. The narrative takes a supernatural turn as the Beast begins to manifest, raising questions about the true nature of Kevin's condition and the extent of his capabilities.

Dr. Fletcher's Investigation and Confrontation


Parallel to the girls' captivity, Dr. Fletcher becomes increasingly concerned about Kevin's mental state. She starts to suspect that something more ominous is at play, especially with the emergence of the Beast. Her investigation leads her to a confrontation with Dennis, one of Kevin's personalities, as she begins to unravel the darker aspects of his condition.

The Final Showdown - Beast Unleashed

The film builds towards a climactic showdown as the Beast fully emerges. The girls, now aware of the imminent danger, must confront this monstrous identity to secure their escape. Casey's unique understanding of Kevin's fractured psyche becomes a crucial element in their attempt to survive. The tension reaches its peak as the Beast's true capabilities are revealed, pushing the boundaries between psychological thriller and supernatural horror.

Unraveling Secrets - Casey's Strategy


In a series of intense moments, Casey employs her understanding of Kevin's past and personalities to strategize a way out. As the layers of Kevin's traumatic history are peeled back, the audience gains insight into the origins of the Beast and the trauma that triggered this extreme manifestation of DID. Casey's resilience and intelligence take center stage as she attempts to navigate the psychological maze that is Kevin's mind.

The Twist in the Ending

In classic M. Night Shyamalan fashion, Split delivers a twist that connects it to Shyamalan's earlier work, Unbreakable (2000). It is revealed that Split exists within the same universe as Unbreakable, setting the stage for a larger narrative arc. This revelation not only reshapes the perception of Split but also opens up possibilities for future storytelling.

Resolving the Immediate Crisis

The final act sees the resolution of the immediate crisis. The fates of the kidnapped girls and Kevin are determined in a series of tense and emotionally charged sequences. The film explores the consequences of trauma, the resilience of the human spirit, and the blurred lines between villain and victim.

Closing the Loop - Implications for Future Films

In a closing sequence, Bruce Willis makes a surprise appearance as David Dunn, his character from Unbreakable. This unexpected crossover solidifies the connection between the two films and sets the stage for Shyamalan's subsequent project, Glass (2019), which serves as a direct sequel to both Unbreakable and Split. The narrative arc is left open-ended, inviting speculation and anticipation for the unfolding events in the broader Shyamalan universe.

Psychological Depth and Genre Fusion

Split stands out not only for its effective execution of psychological thriller elements but also for its seamless fusion of genres. M. Night Shyamalan skillfully navigates the complexities of dissociative identity disorder, turning it into a compelling narrative device. The film's success lies in its ability to blend suspense, horror, and psychological drama, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats while also engaging them on a deeper emotional level. The twist connecting Split to Unbreakable adds an extra layer of complexity, turning the film into a key piece in Shyamalan's evolving cinematic universe.