(WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Split and details about the ending. Proceed with caution.)
Split is a fantastic movie, one that fuses horror, realism and tension that will still resonate long after it leaves theaters. Shyamalan returned to form as a filmmaker, recalling his low budget, character-based roots that got him attention in the first place. He has created a film with a powerful and emotional message that is executed beautifully, which sounds out of place when you take into account that this is a horror movie.
James McAvoy's terrifying and electrifying performance as Kevin would've been campaigning for awards season if Split had an Oscar qualifying run. Shyamalan directs a film that builds and builds with a climax that grabs onto you and doesn't hold back. But that's only before he drops the mic, showing that he's far from done.
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It's pretty fantastic how Shyamalan carefully hid the twist in the poster for the film, which almost perfectly lines up with the glass crack of its predecessor. Even with a little nudge in marketing, everyone still had no idea that the reveal was coming.
At the end of the Split, it cuts to a diner. Watching news covering the aftermath of the climax, a woman asks the man next to her a question about an incident that happened years ago. To the audience's surprise, it's David Dunn, with Bruce Willis reprising his role from #Unbreakable. Cut to black. Where does this leave us? It may be more than you think
"131 people died so you can finally understand the destiny for which you were born."
— Mr. Glass/ Elijah Price
Just A Man On A Train
In 2000's Unbreakable, the first time we see David Dunn is inside a train's passenger car, with a very long take to establish the character. Dunn was an everyman, one with problems with family and his job. When the train derails, he becomes the only surviving person in the crash, emerging unharmed and without a scratch. The Amtrak train — which heads back and forth from 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and New York City — is definitely just the start of David's character journey, which finds him back at station to find his first bad guy. Over time David learns of his super strength and his increased instinct, resulting in one of the best superhero movies ever created. Why is this information relevant to the future of the franchise?
Kevin Lost Someone Too
What do we know about Kevin's backstory? He had a very hard childhood. His mother used to repeatedly beat Kevin, which opened the opportunity for more personalities to take hold. But why was his mother so abusive? We might have been given insight into the matter during a moment when he talks about his past. He told of how he never saw his father again after he left from a train station. After this we get no more details about Kevin's father, but a disaster like the one in Unbreakable could have drove his mother mad. Yes, Kevin's father might have died on the same train that Dunn survived. Without a father, Kevin had no one to prevent his mother from beating him, which later led to the creation of The Beast.
I know what you're thinking: That is not even close to enough evidence to support your claim. But wait, there's much more. Remember the scene where Dennis transforms into the Beast? Kevin, who lives in Philadelphia, using Dennis's personality, goes into 30th Street Station to buy flowers before The Beast comes. He lies the flowers down on the Amtrak platform in reverence before going into a train and turns into The Beast. Keep in mind this is the same station that David was heading to. Also, keep in mind the importance of the flowers and, though a small detail, how Amtrak trains are only used for long-distance journeys.
Dennis bought the flowers for his dead father, who was supposed to arrive at the platform to return to his family. There had to be some sort of reason why they had to do all of these things there instead of just turning into The Beast at home. It's possible that Shyamalan set these small details up as a possible twist in the sequel, but hopefully it isn't the only one that'll take audience by surprise.
What Does This Mean For The Sequel?
By the end of Split, it's assumed that Dunn — who has spent over a decade taking down bad guys — will be going after The Horde, finally meeting a villain who has met his match. Both have unbreakable skin, but one is definitely crazier than the other. How they meet up will probably be because of some sort of routine vigilante mission for Dunn, with their rivalry becoming more personal throughout the film. That is why it's fitting for Mr. Glass, portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson, to make an appearance in the sequel.
At the end of Unbreakable Elijah Price reveals how he was behind the train disaster all along. Causing multiple terrorist attacks and covering them up as accidents, the character was on a quest to find a superhero to compliment his role as a villain. He was successful and content with the outcome of it all, and in a way his character ended up victorious. However, what Price didn't know was that he may have been the creator of not only a hero, but a villain, which is why it is necessary for Price to be intertwined with the characters in the sequel. Let's just hope Shyamalan does it justice.
"Now that we know who you are, I know who I am. I'm not a mistake! It all makes sense! In a comic, you know how you can tell who the arch-villain's going to be? He's the exact opposite of the hero. And most times they're friends, like you and me! I should've known way back when... You know why, David? Because of the kids..."