I have a love/hate relationship with M. Night Shyamalan and his movies. Some of them I love… some of them I hated… (Avatar anyone?) This post is about some of the movies I loved. After a few movies, he became known for his twist endings. His movies were some of the first that I watched… and they all took my by surprise. When I am writing, my mind doesn’t work in the way of twist endings… so I was enthralled with the stories. In most cases, like that of The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable… many clues are given to you about the ending beforehand. Got to love that foreshadowing. So I will talk about the films that I really enjoyed. So let’s get to it. As always, a spoiler alert is in effect… but honestly some of these are 20 years old and Split is about to be 4 years old and Glass is about to be 2 or 3.
The Sixth Sense – Now everyone knows this story. It came out in 1999 and by now it is about 23 years old. My sister and I were talking about it the other day and I realized that there were things in the movie that I want to blurt about. There are a few moments in the movie that always stand out to me. One of the things that I have learned since watching this movie… is remember the thing that you are shown that is not explained right away. (Something that I perfected while watching anime… One Piece anyone?) What I enjoy about this movie was that on the face of it… it is a family drama before the secondary aspect of what becomes a scary movie. Cole (Haley Joel Osment) is having what his mother thinks are behavioral issues. She decides to get him a therapist to help. We all know what the issue really is but it was nice to see her try and get her son her some help.
In the first few minutes of the movie… we see that a patient broke into Dr. Malcolm Crowe’s (Bruce Willis) home. His therapist. Ironically, it is after Dr. Crowe is awarded for all of his work in the field. His patient (Vincent) claims that the doctor didn’t help him. We see that he shoots the doctor, and then himself. As is the way with M. Night, he moved on from that with little explanation… and it should have been my first red flag. I was probably 20 at the time that I watched this movie. But we get a time shift… the story that Dr. Crowe’s marriage is on the rocks, since his wife seems distant (another red flag) and we meet Cole Sear whose mother is worried about him. So we get the relationship between Dr. Crowe and Cole. But here are a few moments that stood out to me.
- The Kitchen Cabinet Scene – At some point, Cole’s mother had to know that something was up more than him just needing better social skills. One morning, she is trying to get Cole ready for school. She removes his tie and heads into the washroom to get him another one. She is only gone a few seconds. When she returns, he is sitting at the table… obviously not having moved but almost all of the cabinets and drawers are open. She asks him what he was looking for… and he knows she won’t believe him even if he tells her the truth… So he says he was looking for Pop tarts…. He even asks her what she is thinking because he doesn’t want to believe that his mother thinks he is a weirdo. But honestly, she had to know that there was something else going on. I mean she was only in the other room… and you don’t hear any noise from the kitchen. But it stands out to me because you see how Cole doesn’t want his mom to believe he is strange and she is struggling to understand her kid. He tells Malcolm that he doesn’t share things with his mom… but she still knows something is going on with him.
- Stuttering Stanley – During a history lesson, Cole’s teacher asks a question to the class. Cole takes it upon himself to answer… “What did they use this building for 100 years ago?” Cole’s response is that they used to hang people here. (A bit heavy for the class.) And when the teacher tries to correct him… and causes the class to gape at him basically weirded out by him… Cole yells that he doesn’t like being stared at. When the teacher continues… Cole blurts out that the teacher used to stutter when he attended school… all the way up to high school in fact. (Something a 9 year old could not have known but the original theory I had was that since he was teaching in the same school he used to go to… many parents would have been classmates… maybe one of them let it slip in front of Cole.) Cole starts taunting the teacher… calling him stuttering Stanley… obviously a name he had in middle school…. The teachers stutter returns.. he finally slams his hand on the desk telling Cole to shut up… and calls him a freak. Really dude? Rewatching the scene with the context of the ending… creepy. Was it a possession?
- Ghosts at the School – So of course, Cole’s school is haunted. Poor Cole can’t escape it for a minute. Gift? or Curse? When leaving a school play, Cole stops dead in his tracks. In the distance, you can see 3 bodies hanging from the rafters. His answer to the teacher makes sense. Dr. Crowe tries to talk Cole through it. But Cole tells him that the feeling he gets on the back of his neck or that when it gets cold… is them. Haley’s delivery is flawless which only adds to that layer of creepy. Later on in the film, Cole is preparing for his part in the play. He is seated with a woman who looks like she is doing his make up. But when she walks away, you see that she is horribly disfigured. When his teacher “stuttering Stanley” comes to get him… he tells Cole that this part of the school burned down years ago… to which Cole responds with “Yeah, I know.” These scenes get me because there is an obvious difference in where he is at both points in the story. You see the growth by the time he gets to the play. He is stronger and no longer afraid.
- Vomiting Ghost Girl – (This had to be the seen that stayed with me all that time.) We see her pull down Cole’s tent in the middle of the night. By this point, Cole has been told by Malcolm that the ghosts are appearing to him because they want his help. So even though he is freaked out… he returns to help her. Asking her if she has something to tell him. The next scene is that of Cole traveling to a funeral. You realize that it is the vomiting girls funeral. So she had just died. Cole rides the bus a long way to attend her funeral. Oddly enough, no one at the funeral notices Cole there by himself. From the chatter at the funeral, you learn that her younger sister is getting sick also by some unnamed illness. Presumably, the same illness that vomiting girl has died from. Cole visits ghost girl’s bedroom… Looking around when she appears again and gives him a box with a VHS tape in it. He gives the tape to her father and it reveals that her mother (Stepmother?) was poisoning her food and drink. Like just pouring the lysol all in the girls drink. The father and those at the funeral are flabbergasted by what they just saw. By showing up, and handing over the tape… he helped save her sister.
- “She’s standing next to my window.” – This scene was epic to me because his mother is really trying to understand what is happening with her son throughout the movie. And when he finally tells her what is going on, her reaction is what I thought it would be. They are sitting in a traffic jam… there is an accident up ahead, his mother makes the comment that she hopes everyone is alright… He tells her everyone isn’t… that a cyclist died. When asked how he knows that, he replies that “She’s standing outside my window.”(There is a scene early on in the movie… before even the ‘I see dead people’ scene, where she is looking at pictures of Cole in various stages of life and she can see these orbs and doesn’t know what to make of them. I’m pretty sure Cole knows what was happening in those moments and can actually see what exactly was captured in those pictures.) His mother doesn’t want to think that Cole is a freak… but she needs time to process what he is telling her. Cole goes onto say that he is visited by his grandmother frequently. He goes on to describe how the two had gotten into an argument before her dance recital… He tells his mother that his grandmother did watch her in a dance performance when she was a child, giving details he could not have known. His mother excepts him unconditionally.
- “I see dead people / The big reveal – Would any countdown be complete without this one? (Keep in mind that the vomiting girl is still my favorite thing about this movie.) What I thought was great about it, is that M. Night preyed on our preconceptions that everything you see is what it is at face value. We aren’t giving any concrete information that Dr. Crowe survived the shooting in his house. Actually, we are given plenty of foreshadowing to the contrary. We never see Dr. Crowe actually interact with anyone other than Cole. The initial scene after Malcolm gets shot, he watches as Cole leaves his house. Cole spots him and speeds off down the road. (You find out later that Cole is initially freaked out by the ghosts that come to him.) He heads off into a church… (Church being a place where you would ward of evil spirits.) When Cole returns from school, it looks as though Dr. Crowe and Cole’s mother are sitting in the living room chatting. However, when Cole comes in… Dr. Crowe is not introduced to Cole… there is no acknowledgment from Cole or his mother about Dr. Crowe sitting there. In Cole’s case, he isn’t talking to his mother about Dr. Crowe because there is no point. She can’t see him anyway. One could argue that there is no reason to introduce Malcolm… because Cole has met him already. But it doesn’t explain why he is not acknowledged at all.
Later on… Cole makes the comment… “You’re nice… but you can’t help me.” Well he can’t help because he is the problem. Cole knows that he is actually a ghost. When Dr. Crowe visits Cole in the hospital, again neither Cole’s mother or the doctor (M. Night himself) acknowledge him. Cole tells him… he sees dead people.
Cole Sear: I see dead people.
Malcolm Crowe: In your dreams? [Shakes head]
Malcolm Crowe: While you’re awake? [Cole nods]
Malcolm Crowe: Dead people like, in graves? In coffins?
Cole Sear: Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re dead.
Of course, this is the explanation ties into what we see at the end of the movie…. when Crowe realizes he is dead. What struck me is the line that they see what they want to see. For Cole, he sees the effects of their death. The little boy earlier in the movie tries to show Cole his father’s gun… he turns and we see his head wound. We see the woman in the kitchen who Cole mistakes as his mother… she is beaten and bloody. The idea is that Cole can see the bullet wound that Dr. Crowe doesn’t seem to notice. It is how he has always seen Dr. Crowe. A man with a horrible gunshot wound who doesn’t know he is dead. It all makes sense as to why Cole ran from Dr. Crowe the first meeting. Most of the scenes between Malcolm and his wife… are where he does all of the talking and she doesn’t respond. Viewers think that it is because their marriage is on the outs… but no…
The Sixth Sense will probably always be one of my favorite movies. I have said before in other posts that the lens of age has changed a lot of shows, movies and things that I used to enjoy. I watched this movie again in preparation for this post and it is still as entertaining as it was when I first watched it years ago.
UNBREAKABLE – I wonder how many of you guys went back and rewatched this movie once Split and Glass came out. I know I did. But I rewatched it a bunch over the years. So this came out in 2000… We meet David Dunn who for some unknown reason is the lone survivor of train crash that kills 130 people. But not only does he survive the train accident but he doesn’t have a scratch on him. (This is about as much information as I had and decided to see the movie.) much I mean the train wreck is horrific and no one can figure out how he survived it. But an eccentric old comic book store owner may have the key. Now there are a few scenes here that I really enjoyed.
David Dunn boards the Eastrail 177 train home but is later caught in a crash. David is recovered and examined by doctors, who reveal he was the only survivor of 132 passengers and hasn’t broken a single bone. After a memorial service for the victims he finds a note on his car windshield asking if he has ever been ill and inviting him to Elijah’s art gallery, “Limited Edition”. David realizes that he has indeed never been ill. David tries to ignore him, but Elijah stalks him and his wife, trying to get his attention. To relieve his family from further distress, David finally agrees to hear Elijah out, and begins to test himself. While lifting weights with Joseph, they discover that his physical strength is far beyond what he previously thought and Joseph begins to idolize his father and believe he is a superhero.
Elijah Price, a comic-book art dealer with brittle bone disease, develops a theory based on comic book stories that there must be someone “unbreakable” at the opposite extreme. It is an interesting premise, but not one that is far fetched. I had no idea what brittle bone disease was before this. I will say… It was an interesting read. (Apparently, it also effects the whites of the eye, short height, loose joints, hearing loss, breathing problems and problems with the teeth. The severity may be mild to severe. In real life, a person suffering from Osteogenesis imperfecta would almost never grow to be as tall as Elijah is.) Elijah is kind of weird. He proposes his theory of real-life superheroes… David D and I are a bit skeptical. What is great is the acting of Samuel L. Jackson… he straddles the line between fantasy and reality pretty well. But Elijah’s love for comics books makes sense given that it was probably the safest thing they could do.
- The Orange Man – In this movie as in most of M. Night’s movies, color always has meaning. So see that Elijah wears a lot of purple and that is not by accident. This is because purple is Samuel L. Jackson’s favorite color, and it is a color often associated with famous comic book supervillains (The Joker, Lex Luthor, just to name a few). In this scene, David Dunn finally leans into Elijah’s theory and becomes a superhero. He is complete with a power to see things people have done when he touches them… Frailty anyone? He collected visions at the stadium workplace, and after seeing clues relating to a serial killer, he tracks the criminal down. But our hero is new at this… and it shows. He is thrown into his weakness ( a pool of water. That Elijah helps him figure out.) and at one point you wonder if he is going to make it… Someone doesn’t make it and it leaves us feeling that even in the superhero world everything can’t be accounted for. I love that David didn’t get everything 100 percent right on his first go round. Would have been odd to me if he had.
- Bench Pressing – Having been talking to Elijah, and thinking that he was just a nut job… (more on that later) David puts off self introspection. He takes the things that happened in his life at face value. David finally decides to test his limits for the first time in the movie, wondering if Elijah’s claims are true. As his son looks on, David adds more and more weight and is able to successfully bench press it. We are David’s son in this scene. We want it to be true… we will it to be true. We need answers. The great thing is that discovers truth using an everyday exercise we can actually do for ourselves.
- Joseph pulls a gun on David – When I tell you that my jaw dropped… That would be an understatement. But kids are young and impressionable. With all this talk about Dad being a superhero (which I believe kids think naturally), that leads Joseph to believe that he too is invincible. (Naturally.) Joseph confronts some bullies but ends up beat up. David tries to console his son by saying that Elijah is wrong and that he’s just as normal as everyone else. Joseph takes it upon himself to prove his father wrong. Joseph decides to take David’s loaded pistol and point it at him saying that if shot, his father would not die. David manages to talk him out of the deed. But it is sad commentary. Mostly because it is easy to see how this could happen in real life and end in tragedy. David deescalates the situation by threatening to pack up and leave for New York. Which still seemed odd to me. The marriage is hanging in the balance… and threatening to leave him seemed damaging but the flip side was letting the son shoot and possibly kill you. I would imagine shooting and killing your father would be pretty scarring.
- David develops extra sensory perception – David can glimpse immoral acts committed by people he touches. At Elijah’s suggestion, he walks through a crowd in a Philadelphia train station/and later at his job at the stadium, and senses crimes perpetrated by strangers who brush past him: a jewel thief, a racist hate crime perpetrator, and a rapist. The worst offender is a sadistic janitor holding a family hostage and torturing them inside their home. It definitely had an old comic book feeling. Here is out hero coming into his own and learning more and more about himself. It was interesting to see who he decided to help. The issue being that as one man… there is no way he could save everyone. There was a flashback of the car accident he and Audrey were in, it is revealed not only that he was unharmed, but that he had ripped a door off the car in order to save Audrey, a memory he had long repressed. It was interesting to see David and Elijah hone David’s skills together. Even though David doesn’t seem too happy to be an other. David’s dawning realization that he isn’t like other people doesn’t fill him with confidence, but with sadness and dread. David behaves as if his differences are an unbearable burden that will separate him from the rest of humanity and change his life in ways that aren’t necessarily positive. I didn’t see this take again until watching Man of Steel… Having always known the story of Superman… I don’t think I put much stock in how being an outsider or different effected Clark at a young age… or his parents for that matter. When I saw Clark have to keep moving on after showing his strength…. I immediately thought of David Dunn.
- The only man to survive – This scene (more or less) was in the trailer… it is what drove me to watch the movie in the first place. The scene is masterfully shot… and from the trailer and the hospital scene, where the story goes is nowhere near what I was thinking. Remember this came out just after The Sixth Sense… so I was definitely not prepared for the direction that the movie took. In the scene… You see Joseph watching television… and you hear the news talking about a train crash and derailment. You hear the commentators talk about how there is debris strewn all over and some of the rail cars are still on fire. When they announce that the trail was Eastrail 177, Joseph hops up and runs to the kitchen where the note on the fridge shows that Dad was on that train. In the hospital, you see David sitting up on the stretcher and he is having a hard time finding out why the doctor is looking strangely at him and why he is being asked where he was sitting on the train. David finally asks “Where are the other passengers?” The doctor lets him and us know what is going on. David was aboard the derailed train… him and another person are the only two to have survived. The other gentlemen has been crushed, has several broken bones and probably will also pass away. This leads the doctor to his other startling revelation. David has not suffered any broken bones or any injuries that they can see and they don’t understand why. Especially since everyone else perished. David has no answers himself. The weirdness is palpable as he is greeted by his family in front of press camera and families of those who lost loved ones on the train. The scene is shot where David and the doctor are having conversation in the background but in the foreground. You see hospital staff fighting the losing battle of trying to save the only other gentleman that has not died right away from his injuries. You can hear the heart monitor as it finally flatlines throughout the scene. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfDOmCLf0bQ)
- It was Mr. Glass all along – After the battle with the man in Orange, David is reconciled with Audrey and the following morning, secretly shows the newspaper article of his anonymous heroic act to his son. David attends an exhibition at Elijah’s comic book art gallery and meets Elijah’s mother, Mrs. Price. One of the things that we hear in this movie is that the train wreck wasn’t the only tragic event where scores of people died. There are mentions of a fire that killed hundreds of people in a hotel. There was also the bomb that exploded on the airplane. Elijah and David have at this point become friends with Elijah taking David under his wing. Elijah is the one that points out what David’s weakness might be (water). Elijah’s mother explains to David the difference between villains who fight heroes with physical strength versus those who use their intelligence. David shakes Elijah’s hand when Elijah congratulates David on his success. That is when all hell breaks loose. David sees visions of Elijah orchestrating several terrorist disasters, including David’s recent train accident, causing hundreds of deaths. David is horrified, but Elijah insists the deaths were justified as a means to find him. The movie quote from Elijah stands out to me. “Do you know what the scariest thing is? To not know your place in this world, to not know why you’re here. That’s… that’s just an awful feeling. I almost gave up hope. There were so many times I questioned myself. But I found you. So many sacrifices… just to find you. 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. They called me Mr. Glass.” Elijah theorized that, if he represented the frailest a human being could be, then there had to be someone in the world who stood at the opposite end of the scale – someone who couldn’t be injured like most humans. This was to form a lifelong obsession, beginning simply with him studying the newspapers for stories of people who’d survived catastrophic disasters without being harmed; however, this gradually grew to dangerous extremes. He would make bombs, plan future acts of sabotage, and chart the patterns of survival in catastrophes throughout the world – some of them planned by him, some entirely accidental. He killed hundreds of people and David turns him in. Elijah explains that his own purpose in life is to be the villain to David’s hero. Elijah was convicted of murder and terrorism and committed to an institution for the criminally insane. So here was another thing that M. Night spoon-fed me, that I missed the big twist at the end. I was lulled into the superhero story and forgot all about Mr. twist ended. It blew my mind to know that David’s mentor… was the villain, who had killed hundreds of people. Even though he was trying to find his place…. there is not a justification. Samuel L. Jackson played a great villain. I loved him way too much to see the bad in it. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10TK19duC3s)
Split came out in 2016. It is an American psychological horror thriller film and the second installment in the Unbreakable trilogy written, directed, and produced by M. Night Shyamalan. The film is a man with 24 different personalities who kidnaps and imprisons three teenage girls in an isolated underground facility. Can I just say how great James McAvoy was in this movie? I mean he usually is but this was great. He did a fantastic job. FANTASTIC.
Casey Cooke is attending the birthday party of her classmate Claire Benoit at the King of Prussia Mall. Maybe it was me, but I didn’t get having a party at the mall. Probably the restaurants. Claire tells her father that she only invited Casey because she was inviting the entire class and didn’t want to leave one person out; Claire reveals Casey is a loner in school and always acts out in class. Well, I will say it would have been best if Casey had sat this one out. Casey accepts a ride home from Claire’s father, who also takes Claire’s friend Marcia. As the girls wait in the car, a man suffering from dissociative identity disorder (DID) knocks Claire’s father unconscious and enters the car, spraying the girls with an unknown chemical knocking them out and kidnapping them. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK5QIZgbfZQ) So a few scenes stand out to me… Let’s jump to it.
- Dr. Karen Fletcher has been had – Dr. Fletcher has been Kevin Crumb’s therapist for a bit. She is the one that has diagnosed the 23 personalities. Poor Kevin. I don’t think I could take anymore flashbacks of his childhood. The dominant personality, “Barry”, controls when and which of the others can manifest. But recently, it isn’t Barry who has been coming to the sessions, but Dennis… For Doctor Fletcher…. Dennis appearing wouldn’t have been a big deal… but the fact that he is pretending to be Barry is. When she tries to get to the bottom of why he is there and what he is up to, he keeps the front up. She tells Dennis all of the things he did to give away that he was not Barry. Starting with the fact that she keeps receiving emails from Barry begging for her help. “Dennis” and Fletcher talk about Kevin’s father, who abandoned Kevin as a child. The personalities began manifesting to help Kevin cope with the abuse he was subjected to by his mother, who suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder. “Dennis” doesn’t tell her what he has been up though… which only leaves her more suspicious. But there is little she can do. She struck me as not necessarily wanting to help but trying to preserve her test subject. Dr. Fletcher had been studying, and giving speeches about what physiological changes can occur with patients with DID. One of which being that one of the personalities can have diabetes and need insulin even though the other personalities do not.
- Patricia has entered the chat – Within his mind, all of his personalities sit in chairs in a room, waiting for their turn “in the light”, i.e. controlling the body, while “Barry” controls who gets to go in the light. Two personalities, “Dennis” and “Patricia”, are kept out because of Dennis’s voyeuristic tendencies and obsessive–compulsive disorder, and both personalities’ worshiping of “The Beast”, a rumored 24th personality. The girls find an opening to a vent in the ceiling, and Claire escapes through the vents, before being discovered hiding in a locker. She is locked in a storage room separate from Casey and Marcia. Casey and Marcia hear who they believe is “Dennis” coming but are startled when Kevin appears wearing a turtleneck, skirt and heels. “Patricia” has taken over…. (a matronly Englishwoman), another one of Kevin’s alters. This bewilders and invokes fear within the girls. Patricia prepares food for Casey and Marcia, she forbids them from having Claire join them. (Who makes sandwiches with such sharp knives….? Spreading mayonnaise threateningly…) Maybe Marcia thought this personality was a push over but even as Casey warns her not to… Marcia takes the chair and hits Patricia over the head and tries to escape. She is cornered quickly and locked in another isolated cell. Now after seeing what happened to Claire…. why Marcia would want to do this is beyond me, especially since she didn’t know where she was. It was an epic failure. I was counting on her too.
- “Hedwig” the window and the walkie talkie – Never trust M. Night. I should have known better. It would never be that easy to find a window out of there. “Hedwig” shows up and he reveals that he is 9 years old… and is wondering why the girls can’t seem to get that. It is Hedwig who lets the girls know that the girls will be sacrificed to “The Beast”. (The Beast being the all powerful 24th personality that only some of the personalities believe in.) He says that he stole control over the light from “Barry” and was persuaded to help “Dennis” and “Patricia”. Casey tries to use Hedwig to get out of the underground. He mentions having a window in his room… which seems odd. There is nothing about the place where they are that would suggest to me that there was a window, but she convinces Hedwig that she wants to see his room and see him dance. He likes Kanye West. However, when she gets there… there is only a picture of a window drawn by Hedwig. Casey does find a walkie talkie… and when she starts calling for help the person on the other end thinks she’s playing. I was so annoyed about that. People don’t help for shit. Insert Eyeroll. This girl is telling you she is being held against her will…. you tell her to stop playing and asking how she got on this channel. Man if you don’t get help. UGH. Casey is subdued when Patricia takes over again. Dennis chastises her for taking advantage of a kid.
- The Beast and Dr. Fletcher cross paths – Fletcher suspects Kevin is responsible for the kidnappings. After reviewing some security footage… and continuously receiving emails from Barry, Dr. Fletcher comes to believe that Kevin (more likely Dennis) is responsible for the disappearances of these girls. She takes it upon herself to go after him… What I didn’t get was if you thought that your patient is kidnapping people… why didn’t you call for back up? She goes to where she thinks Kevin may be and has a discussion with Dennis. He reveals that he has met “The Beast”, in reality a yet-to-manifest 24th personality. Fletcher realizes that there is an internal conflict between the personalities and becomes concerned that “Dennis” kidnapped the girls in order to sacrifice them to “the Beast”. She fakes going to the bathroom and finds Claire locked in the storage room. Dennis sprays her with chloroform and carries her into the living room. 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 tall height. 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 Beast” arrives and kills her by crushing her torso. Poor Dr. Fetcher… and she could have saved herself and the girls if she had just called someone beforehand. But that is just me. He then proceeds to rip apart and eat both Marcia and Claire.
- Claire vs The Beast – Casey escapes from her cell, only to find that “The Beast” has already killed and eaten some of Marcia and sees him attack Claire too. Casey finds Fletcher’s body and the piece of paper. Casey sees that the note instructs her to call out Kevin’s full name, a tactic which would call Kevin to the light and throw the Horde (other personalities) into chaos. . 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 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. Upon learning of the situation and realizing that he has not been in control for two years, a horrified Kevin begs Casey to kill him with a shotgun he has hidden. She takes the gun but hesitates. Another thing I didn’t get…. Kevin hasn’t been in control for a long while and 3 people have been killed, but she doesn’t pull the trigger which made me want to pull out my hair. Kevin’s request to be shot prompts all 24 personalities to fight for control in a desperate attempt to and “Patricia” is the victor. Casey is told that “Kevin” has been made to sleep far away, and he will not awaken now even if his name is called. They once again let “The Beast” take hold. So Casey is on the run… Casey retrieves the shotgun and cartridges before escaping into a tunnel… The Beast chases her to the in the basement of where she’s been held captive in a cell. She manages to load the shotgun and shoot the beast twice as he tries to bend the bars displaying superhuman strength, but he is not harmed. “The Beast” voices his plans to rid the world of the “untouched”, those whose hearts are impure because they have never suffered in their lives. Casey doesn’t fit this bill because she is being raised by her uncle who has been molesting her for years.(That flashback was quite disturbing.) “The Beast” begins to bend apart the bars of the cage in which Casey has locked herself, but then notices numerous old, faded scars on her shoulders and lower torso. He then rejoices in the fact that she is “pure”. Concluding that troubled people are exceptional, “The Beast” spares Casey’s life and leaves. Casey is rescued by one of Kevin’s coworkers (finally!) and learns she was being held underneath the Philadelphia Zoo, where Kevin worked and lived. In another hideout, “Dennis”, “Patricia”, and “Hedwig” discuss the power of “The Beast” and their plans to change the world.
Now Glass was the movie that I was waiting for since Unbreakable. It didn’t know that I would actually get it. I wanted to know what happened with Elijah Price and then I saw the trailer. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95ghQs5AmNk). David Dunn made an appearance at the end of Split… so you couldn’t wait to see how that turns out. At least, I couldn’t. Glass is a 2019 American psychological superhero thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film is a crossover and sequel to Shyamalan’s previous films Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016) and the third and final installment in the Unbreakable trilogy a.k.a. Eastrail 177 Trilogy. The premise of the movie being that the security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, who has kidnapped several more teenage girls to sacrifice to the beast. After pursuing Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities that reside within, David Dunn finds himself locked in a mental hospital alongside his archenemy, Elijah Price. The woman that oversees the three of them is annoying… and that is her job to be annoying and in the way… But I was so Patricia from the trailer. “I specialize in delusions of grandeur…particularly those who believe they are superheroes…” “Good for you.” As you can imagine… things get a bit interesting.
- The Overseer vs The Beast – Early on in the movie, we see David Dunn and learn that he has been trying to sniff out Kevin Wendell Crumb/the Beast from Split alongside his son Joseph. There is a group of girls that have disappeared again. I knew it was too soon for there to be a battle between them. Three weeks after the “Horde” incident, the Dunn’s track down Kevin Wendell Crumb, the “Horde”, at an abandoned factory where he holds four cheerleaders hostage. I would like to point out that sometimes young people are right… Joseph didn’t want his father to go out that day. Saying that the police presence is too strong… and he was right… but to David’s point… the kidnapped girls were running out of time. After seeing Hedwig on the street, David manages to use his powers to see the girls trapped in an underground warehouse. The Beast is surprised that David has strength to match him. Before the fight could totally get going, armed forces led by Dr. Ellie Staple intervene and imprison them at the Raven Hill Memorial Mental Institute. Also being kept there is David’s “destined” foe and global terrorist Elijah Price, a.k.a. Mr. Glass, who is kept under sedation and is considered completely harmless.
- Dr. Ellie Staple tries to “help” – David and Kevin are placed in separate rooms that contain unique security measures based on their weaknesses of water and light flashes respectively. (James McAvoy shines again…. it was so odd to see the lights flash and seeing him don another persona. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tOW8j5RtUE) Elijah’s mother Mrs. Price, Joseph Dunn, and Casey Cooke, a victim who survived Kevin/the Horde’s captivity, try and fail to convince Staple superhumans are real. David, Kevin and Elijah are brought out of their cell and into a meeting together where Dr. Staple explains she believes they suffer from delusions of grandeur (which is her area of expertise and trying to convince them that they do not have superpowers.) David seems to have a crisis… we saw him have a hard time believing he had powers… now 19 years later after he has settled into and accepted his powers…. now someone is voicing some of his insecurities. In the conversation, she asks them to explain their superpower… and then uses that explanation to point out how the characteristics that describe aren’t extraordinary. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i71zp2X4XDw) David and several of Kevin’s personalities become confused and distraught while Elijah remains catatonic. I wondered what having Elijah there if he was catatonic was supposed to do. Unless Dr. Staple thought that he wasn’t really catatonic. I really enjoyed Casey’s scene with Kevin. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BukBIgMvCc) Dr. Staple talks the family members and Casey into trying to enlist their help to break David, Kevin and Elijah from their delusions.
- Mr. Glass and the Beast team up – Elijah has revealed that he has faked his catatonic state. He escapes his room (the idea being that in the night, he scampers around the mental hospital like he owns it. Dr. Stapler at one point tells him that if they have installed cameras all over… and will be able to see if he leaves his cell…. Clearly they already know this is going on. The ending result would be a lobotomy.) Elijah escapes his cell to conduct research on Kevin before visiting him and telling him he feigned his sedated state and plans to escape the institute but requires one of Kevin’s personalities—the Beast—to help him. Elijah meets “Patricia” first… he asks her permission to meet the beast. She is happy about his manners… but issues him a warning…“For your sake, I hope he likes you.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noakeL8pCX8) Staple discovers Elijah’s escape plan and proceeds to do a prefrontal lobotomy to silence him. Upon returning to his cell, Elijah reveals he sabotaged the surgical laser and kills his caretaker Daryl before freeing Kevin. Elijah then manipulates David into fighting the Beast by revealing his plan to destroy a chemical lab inside a new skyscraper, the Osaka Tower in Philadelphia that would kill thousands. David breaks free from his cell and pursues The Beast.
- The Overseer vs the Beast & Mr. Glass – There is so much that happens here. Earlier in the movie, Hedwig asked who was the guy in the cell that is as strong as the beast. The trio spills out into the parking lot and reinforcements are called in. Interestingly enough… Joseph Dunn, Casey and Elijah’s mom all show up to witness the carnage. David and the Beast go at it as Elijah looks on. Elijah does tell the beast that David’s weakness is water… and in true comic book fashion David tries to help the reinforcements… (Ugh they were so in the way. I get it was their job but…. with The Beast breaking through these shields… they couldn’t pay me enough.) It is Joseph who points out what Elijah learned when looking into Kevin’s past… Kevin’s father died in the train wreck caused by Elijah Price nineteen years earlier. The implication being that had Kevin’s father not died… Kevin may not have developed DID and the Beast might not have existed…. (Here is another twist that I was not ready for. I should have known better but I didn’t.) But being the villain in his purple… Elijah doesn’t seem as though he is remorseful. He gives off the end justifies the means feeling. Despite thanking him for his creation, the Beast mortally wounds Elijah out of distrust for him. He then throws David into a water storage tank that drenches the area when he gets out. Casey manages to bring Kevin’s dormant original personality out, inadvertently allowing the police to fatally shoot him. (I figure that had to be sad for her… but he killed a lot of people. And it was his wish….) Staple’s men drown David in a flooded pothole (so… he made it out of the large water tub only to be while Staple reveals that she is part of a clandestine organization that has been suppressing the existence of superhumans for millennia to keep people from knowing about them and killing those with superhuman abilities as they see them as a threat to the balance of the world order.
I would feel bad if I didn’t mention that these movies caught a lot of flack from the medical community for it’s depiction of DID (dissociative identity disorder) and its perceived stigmatization of mental illness. In contrast with McAvoy’s character, Deckel said, people with DID, who may represent over 1% of Americans, are rarely violent. Research has shown that they are far more likely to hurt themselves than to hurt others. But movies tend to portray only “the most extreme aspects” of the disorder, she said. Movies like Psycho and Identity that also contain violent characters with multiple personalities. This can misrepresent a form of mental health that is not well understood by the lay public, and even some psychiatrists, she said.
While I really enjoyed these movies, generally when I hear something has been directed/written by M. Night… I am not sure I am going to watch it. I think the edge he had in the beginning is lost now that people (me) go into it waiting for the plot twist. I watched Avatar… and I was as disappointed as everyone else. But it is what it is. The thrills that I allowed myself to get were fun… and I cannot stress enough how great James McAvoy was in his role. (I would love to see the bloopers or behind the scenes at some point.) But here are my top moments. Definitely drop a comment and tell me your favorites… if you have seen these movies… jump to it. That is all for now.