ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

The premise of Split might seem pretty unique, but the deeply unsettling idea of multiple personalities crept into cinema long before M. Night Shyamalan tackled the topic.

While Shyamalan's take might set itself apart with the extreme and murderous nature of the antagonist's fractured mind, below are some other movies who also dip their toe into the split personality pool.

Be warned, minor spoilers lie beneath, but I have tried to keep the crucial twists as vague as possible so the plots still pack a punch.

1. 'Shutter Island'

  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Who's In It? Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, Michelle Williams and Emily Mortimer
  • Why Is It Like 'Split?' This deeply psychological thriller plunges you into the twists and turns of the protagonist's unstable psyche, and gradually reveals that not everything about the acclaimed detective is what it seems.

2. 'Identity'

Director: James Mangold

Who's In It? John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall and Rebecca De Mornay

Why Is It Like 'Split?' What starts off as a murder mystery investigating the deaths of 10 strangers who all happen to be staying at the same motel soon becomes even more harrowing, as we are plunged into the disturbed psyche of a homicidal mental health patient.

3. 'The Three Faces Of Eve'

Director: Nunnally Johnson

Who's In It? Joanne Woodward, David Wayne, Lee J. Cobb, Edwin Jerome and Mimi Gibson

Why Is It Like 'Split?' Joanne Woodward won an Oscar for her portrayal of a woman besieged by multiple personalities, and her performance is every bit as strong as James McAvoy's in .

The movie sees a suburban housewife who is plagued by blackouts seek psychiatric treatment for her ailment. During treatment, it is revealed she has split personalities, but eventually, her fragile psyche is repaired by an unlikely assistant.

4. 'Primal Fear'

Director: Gregory Hoblit

Who's In It? Richard Gere, Edward Norton, Laura Linney, John Mahoney, Alfre Woodard and Frances McDormand

Why Is It Like 'Split?' A young man accused of murdering a priest exhibits strange symptoms that put his culpability into question, but how is it possible to know whether he is telling the truth?

Edward Norton puts in a stunning performance here, which launched his career on a high note that has rarely wavered since.

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5. 'Secret Window'

Director: David Koepp

Who's In It? Johnny Depp, John Turturro, Maria Bello and Timothy Hutton

Why Is It Like 'Split?' A writer named Mort Rainey is being harassed and accused of plagiarism by a relentless man who signs off as John Shooter. As the movie progresses, details emerge that throw the antagonist's true identity into doubt. Is he a figment of Rainey's imagination, or something way more sinister than that?

6. 'Black Swan'

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Who's In It? Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis and Winona Ryder.

Why Is It Like 'Split?' A principal ballerina experiences a psychotic break and the boundaries of reality shift and pulsate furiously as she prepares to take on the role of a lifetime. The question of who the real Nina (Natalie Portman) is will haunt you throughout this mind-blowing psychological thriller.

7. 'A Tale Of Two Sisters'

Director: Kim Jee-woon

Who's In It? Im Soo-jung, Moon Geun-young, Yum Jung-ah, Kim Kap-soo and Lee Seung-bi

Why Is It Like 'Split?' This truly twisted mind-fuck of a movie follows a young girl who is released from a mental hospital, only to find her entire family seems to have plunged into an unsettling madness. It gradually emerges that the ties some characters share are closer than you might originally think with devastating consequences.

Do you know another movie like 'Split?' Leave your suggestions in the comments below.


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