Hordes of horror fans rejoiced this year following the release of Split, M. Night Shyamalan's return to greatness. However, the divisive director may split audiences once again, thanks to the disturbing nature of the movie's alternate ending.
Now that the Beast has taken over as the dominant personality, The Horde is set to unleash carnage in future sequels. Following his murderous rant into a mirror, the evil intentions of McAvoy's character have been made abundantly clear — but the home release of #Split reveals an even more disturbing ending for The Horde.
The Alternate Ending To 'Split'
In the alternate ending for Split, the 'Dennis' personality appears to be in control of Kevin Crumb, who's dressed in his typical plaid shirt and glasses. As the scene unfolds, we discover that Dennis is overlooking a school, sitting across the road on a rooftop.
With the sound of school children heading home in the background, Dennis says, "Look at all those unbroken souls." The 'Patricia' personality then takes over, delivering a chilling response;
“Such a waste.”
The implication is disturbingly clear. Dennis and Patricia plan to set the Beast on the children, laying waste to the school and eating those who are deemed impure.
Why Didn't M. Night Shyamalan Use This Alternate Ending For 'Split'?
Despite the emotional impact of this sequence, the alternate ending of Split was ultimately removed by Shyamalan, as he felt that it didn't fit the final cut. Speaking on the home release, Shyamalan revealed that he struggled where to place the scene:
“This is kind of an alternate end I had for the Horde. I toyed with where it should go. Should it go in? Should it go before the tag in the diner or after? And I tried it in a lot of places, and it didn’t quite feel right. It was the original ending for the Horde in the script, then I wrote the one that’s in the movie at the mirror, and we re-shot that afterwards. And that felt more of, like, the vibe of how I wanted it it end."
The problem was that the ending felt too dark, and trivialized The Beast as a one-dimensional villain hellbent on murder and little else. As Shymalan explained:
“So I had this ending in for a while, then I moved it in a few different places. But it was just too dark, and it made it kind of feel one note for me about what his intentions were, what are his motivations? I just didn’t want the Beast’s motivations to be reduced to just killing, that kind of thing. So that’s why I wrote the ending that you see in the movie, with the mirror. So it was more showing the world what we were capable of… the original ending is a kind of dark and gruesome ending.”
While the alternate ending would have certainly left its mark on audiences, the final version makes more sense in conjunction with the diner scene, setting up future Shyamalan movies.
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The alternate ending reminds us once again of the potential that Shyamalan's movies contain, melding horror with super-powers in a decidedly unique way. Let's just hope that Shyamalan doesn't split the critics when his next movie hits cinemas within the next couple of years.
'Split' is now available for download in Digital HD and will be released via Blu-ray and DVD on April 18, so make sure to check out the alternate ending there.
Did M. Night Shyamalan make a mistake when he didn't use the alternate ending in Split?
(Poll Image Credit: Universal Pictures)