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The impure are the untouched! The unburned! The unslain! Those who have not been torn have no value in themselves, and no place in this world! They are asleep!
~ The Beast, explaining his motives
You like to make fun of us, but we are more powerful than you think.
~ Dennis
We trust in him. He'll protect us. Look at what he can do. Let him show the world how powerful we can be.
~ Patricia to the others, contemplating the power of the Beast.

Kevin Wendell Crumb is the main antagonist of the 2017 live action film Split. He is a mysterious man who suffers from an extreme case of Dissociative Identity Disorder, and has 23 separate personalities residing in his mind. Kevin and the majority of his personalities are by no means evil, however two of the most dominant—Dennis, an obsessive, cold and tough man, and Patricia, a manipulative female—are both aggressive and vicious in their own way. Dennis and Patricia are also devout believers in a burgeoning 24th personality—“The Beast”—whom they believe will avenge them against the "Impure." He was portrayed by James McAvoy, who also played Bruce Robertson in Fifth and later David Percival in Atomic Blonde.

Split

When Kevin was a child, his father left on a train and never came back. There is a fan theory that Kevin's father may have died in the same train crash (orchestrated by the villain Elijah Price, known by his unforgettable moniker "Mr. Glass") that left David Dunn, the protagonist of Unbreakable, as the sole surviving passenger. This left three-year-old Kevin at the mercy of his abusive mother, who would severely punish him if he did not keep everything clean and in order. To avoid his mother's abuse, Kevin began to develop multiple personalities as a defense mechanism. Dennis, the protector alter with obsessive-compulsive cleaning habits, was a direct result of his trauma.

Kevin ultimately developed 23 individual personalities, each of which are able to take control. If the fan theory involving Mr. Glass is true, then Glass not only created a superhero, David Dunn, but also inadvertently made Kevin a supervillain as well.

Kevin, presumably Dennis, worked at the Philadelphia Zoo when something jarring happened: two girls approached him and played a cruel, childish prank on him. Without warning, both girls took his hands and forced him to touch their breasts, before they ran away laughing. This left Kevin disoriented and in shambles, and possibly contributed to Dennis's peculiar sexual appetite.

Dennis and Patricia

As of September 18, 2014, the personalities seemed to have buried Kevin away deep in his mind. At the beginning of the film, Dennis (a stern man who suffers from OCD) kidnaps Casey, Claire and Marcia, knocking out Claire's father in order to abduct the three girls. He keeps them in a room in his home where the three girls are later introduced to Patricia (a matronly Englishwoman), another one of Kevin's alters. This bewilders and invokes fear within the girls. When Hedwig (a 9-year-old boy with a lisp) "takes the light" (control of Kevin's body), Casey tries to befriend him in hopes of escaping. Throughout the film, mainly through the discussions between Kevin's alters and his therapist, Dr. Fletcher, it is established that the presumed dominant personality is Barry (an effeminate male fashion designer) who tries to subjugate the others and keep them from staying in the light. However, two of the other personalities (Patricia, a religious nut, and Dennis, who also has ephebophilic fantasies) have suppressed Barry with the help of Hedwig, who is able to take the light at his will.

Split-patricia

Patricia, the primary antagonist. (Shyamalan, 2017. Deleted Scenes Commentary.)

Split-dennis

Dennis, the secondary antagonist. (Shyamalan, 2017. Deleted Scenes Commentary.)

When Claire tries to escape the room through the drywall ceiling, Dennis finds her and then locks her in a separate room on her own. He tells her it isn't nice to trick children because it shows who someone really is. Soon after, when Patricia prepares food for Casey and Marcia, she forbids them from having Claire join them. When Marcia attacks Patricia and tries to make a run for it, Patricia finds her and threatens her with a knife. Like Claire, Marcia is put into a separate dingy room next to Claire's room.

Casey befriends Hedwig, and tries to influence him. Hedwig excitedly warns the girls about 'the Beast', a malevolent 24th personality with incredible abilities. He also reveals to Casey that there is a window in his room, which she perceives it as a potential escape route. However, when he shows her the 'window', it is shown to be a hand-drawn picture of a window.

She grabs a functional walkie-talkie nearby and radios for help, but the person on the other end thinks it's a prank and dismisses her; Patricia then subdues Casey. Barry sends several email messages for help to Dr. Fletcher, revealed to be Barry feeling threatened by the bid for control by Dennis and Patricia. When Dr. Fletcher approaches and tries to reason with Kevin, she realises that he has kidnapped the girls and tries to convince him that what he is doing is wrong. Dennis sprays her with chloroform and carries her into the living room. Enacting a sort of ritual, Dennis then buys flowers and Patricia visits a train car (presumably the same train Kevin's father left him at.) Dennis then becomes 'the Beast', exhibiting physical changes such as increased muscle mass and several inches added to his already height. The Beast snarls, his persona dissolving into an animalistic mentality before launching himself on a rampage. When she recovers, Dr. Fletcher writes down Kevin's full name, knowing that the resulting awakening of his original personality will be enough to subdue him. The girls, in the meantime, try to escape from their confinements.

“The Beast” attacks

Split-the beast

"The Beast", the super villain.

The broken are the more evolved.
~ The Beast

Returning to his hideout, “The Beast” confronts Dr. Fletcher. Before she is able to speak Kevin's full name, a tactic which would call Kevin to the light and throw the Horde into chaos, he crushes her to death against him. He then proceeds to rip apart and eat both Marcia and Claire. Meanwhile, Casey stumbles upon Dr. Fletcher's corpse, as well as an instructional note the doctor the left behind on how to defeat the Beast. When the Beast closes in on her, demonstrating the ability to climb up walls, Casey uses Kevin's real name to call him to the light. The Beast is briefly tamed, and the actual Kevin (who has been restrained for years by the other personalities, and has no memory of what he has done between then and now) emerges. Horrified by the death of Dr. Fletcher, he orders Casey to kill him with a shotgun he bought before the Beast can return—however, the Beast returns when Kevin's other personalities desperately try to defend themselves. As the Beast reawakens, it pursues Casey into the basement of its lair, eventually cornering her in a cell. Casey shoots him twice at point blank range with Kevin's shotgun, but it proves to be ineffective, as the shells fail to do more than pierce his skin.

Reaching the cell, the Beast voices his maniacal plans to rid the world of the 'untouched' (As in, the people who he feels have never suffered pain or discomfort, unlike him). The Beast bends the bars with its bare hands to gain entry, but before finishing, it notices the scars on her body from her previous abuse at the hands of her uncle. Realizing that he has met a kindred spirit, one who has also suffered exceptional abuse at the hands of a trusted relative, he declares her to be "pure," and leaves a bewildered Casey in peace. Casey is eventually discovered and rescued by Kevin's co-workers at the Philadelphia Zoo. Recovering from the battle, Patricia, Dennis and Hedwig speculate in awe at the power of the Beast, marvelling at what it was shown to be capable of doing. Kevin voices his plans to change the world, and awaits the next feeding of 'the Beast' now under the man's newest and diabolical collective nom de guerre "The Horde".

Epilogue

At the end of the film, in a restaurant, the people are watching the news about The Horde, one of the waitress talks about the similarity with a case 15 years ago where a man in a wheelchair was arrested and had a nickname too which she can't recall, a man sitting next to her tells her his name was Mr. Glass, the man then is revealed to be David Dunn, the protagonist of M. Night Shyamalan's second film Unbreakable, this reveals a connection between the two movies where David "The Unbreakable Man" is the superhero and "The Horde" is the supervillain, as quoted by Unbreakable's villain Elijah Price, "Good cannot exist without evil and evil cannot exist without good.".

"The Horde" will return as the main antagonist fighting David Dunn in the movie Glass, the third part of the "Eastrail 177 Trilogy" which, as indicated by its title, will also feature Mr. Glass. Glass may possibly adopt a role where he will manipulate The Horde for his own ends.

Personality

He's done awful things to people, and he'll do awful things to you.
~ Hedwig describes the Beast

Kevin is an extremely impenetrable and complex individual: The mental disorder that he prominently suffers from causes him to have a myriad of personalities, though only a few of them are shown in the film:

  • Kevin himself: A terrified young man who, from what can be seen at the end of the film, has a conscience and expresses deep shock and horror at what his other identities have done. He is so horrified by what he has done that, after realising the destruction he has caused and the trauma he inflicted on Casey, he encourages her to kill him, and the only thing that prevents this from happening is the frantic interference of the other personalities that existed in his head. He spends the majority of the film restrained by these personalities.
  • Hedwig: A 9-year-old boy with several compulsive behaviors, such as proclaiming that he has red socks, crawling on bent knees, and ending sentences with 'et cetera'. He loves to dance crazily, do drawings and he is disciplined by the other personalities. He befriends Casey. Dennis is rather gullible as a result of his innocence and naivete, easily baited by Casey at one point and cowed by some of the other personalities, very few of whom truly respect him. He is awed by the power of the Beast because of his childish nature. He has a fear and subservience to the other personalities, especially Patricia (whom he calls 'Miss Patricia').
  • Barry: The originally dominant personality in Kevin's head - calm, tranquil, and levelheaded to some extent and working to control the other personalities, Barry is the personality that is used to communicate with Dr. Fletcher, but he is exploited by Dennis in the latter's bid for control over Kevin's head. He is a charismatic, persuasive, and somewhat effeminate male with an incredible talent for fashion and design. It is implied that he is a very commanding and authoritative individual (described at one point as an extroverted leader). When Barry steals the light for real and tries to talk to Casey that he shows genuine concern for her well being.
  • Dennis: One of the more disturbing personalities, Dennis is cold, temperamental, and manipulative, so he has a perverted liking for watching young girls dance naked. He demonstrates traits of obsessive-compulsive disorder and a firm, sometimes violent, tendency towards cleanliness and order (which is possibly duplicated from Kevin's abusive mother). Dennis is devious and exploitative, being shown to have been masquerading as Barry since the very beginning of the film. However, Dennis' efforts to conceal himself aren't perfect, since he overextends himself in trying to convince Dr. Fletcher that he is Barry and is unable to ultimately conceal his OCD.
  • Patricia: A sophisticated, obsequious, orderly, and polite "woman" who has considerable command over some of the other personalities (This personality claims that the others 'listen' to her). Patricia is very disciplined and intellectual towards the other personalities, and towards other people, and is also very calm - she assures Casey, Claire and Marcia that Dennis will not touch her because they are to serve a greater purpose than Dennis's desires. Patricia is revealed to be surprisingly destructive and dangerous in her own right, as evidenced by her calm (but extremely threatening) way of dealing with Marcia by soothing her verbally whilst holding a knife to her stomach. Patricia is a perfectionist, reacting angrily when she cuts a sandwich in awkward halves before doing so again.
  • The Beast: By far the most dangerous, hostile and terrifying of all the personalities, the Beast is the 24th identity that resides in Kevin's mind. The Beast is a malevolent and rancorous figure, idolized by Dennis, Patricia and Hedwig, who all await his arrival. He is a megalomaniac, believing that those who are broken and who have suffered are superior to anybody else, but also that those who haven'tare irrelevant, and that they are 'asleep'; this philosophy rules its actions entirely, since the Beast goes from savagery to glee at seeing that Casey has suffered seriously in her life and declares that her heart is 'pure'. The Beast is extremely destructive and violent to the point of savagery, having an unquenchable lust for human flesh, and an intense perspective that the rest of the world are impure because they have not suffered like he has. The Beast possesses superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina, invulnerability and pain tolerance - it can rip metal bars apart and snap a human body in half with its bare hands. It also has the ability to climb walls using even the slightest grip. Finally, the Beast is incredibly hard to kill, since bullets are virtually ineffective against it and knives shatter against its skin. The Beast is viewed as an almost Godlike figure by the other 23 identities, and they are in awe of what it can accomplish.
  • Jade: She appeared on a video log and briefly appeared after Casey called Kevin into the light. Jade seems to act like a typical teenage girl with a foul mouth. She apparently has diabetes and needs to take insulin shots for it. She seems to be the only one, that believes that the Alters are different people rather than personalities. Considering in her video log, she frustratingly makes mention that she's the only one who has to take the insulin shots while the others are perfectly healthy physically.
  • Orwell: He appears briefly when Casey calls Kevin into the light. Orwell is a highly intelligent and introverted man whose verbosity tends to overshadow his intended meaning. He can't help but compare his and the Alter's prediciments to a certain point of history.  As seen when he tries to desperately explain to Casey that The Horde doesn't represent the rest of them.

There are sixteen other personalities that are not shown, but the names of which are seen on Kevin's computer:

  • Heinrich
  • Norma
  • Goddard
  • Bernice
  • Polly
  • Luke
  • Rakel
  • Felicia
  • Ansel
  • Jelin
  • Kat
  • B.T
  • Samuel
  • Mary Reynolds
  • Ian
  • Mr. Pritchard

Gallery

Trivia

  • Kevin's background and the will of his personalities to become a superior being by creating another monstruous and superhuman personality through sacrificial ritual makes him quite similar to Francis Dolarhyde.
  • Considering that Split exists in the exact same world as M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable (Which is essentially an origin story for a superhero), Split can be considered to be Kevin's origin story as a supervillain. Shyamalan himself has confirmed that his next film will serve as a sequel to both Split and Unbreakable.
  • A fan theory speculates that Elijah Price, Unbreakable's main antagonist killed Kevin's father in the same train derailment David Dunn (Unbreakable's hero) survived and made him realized of his superpowers and who will be Kevin's nemesis in the next film of Shyamalan's Eastrail 177 Trilogy which till now consists of Unbreakable and Split.
  • He will appear in 2019 film Glass as the main antagonist alongside Elijah Price.