Behind the 24 Personalities of “Split”

By Melanie Meisner

Photo Source: Melanie Meisner

Photo Source: Melanie Meisner

ONE Media (YouTube)

The newly-released movie “Split” focuses on a man named Kevin Wendell Crumb with Dissociative Identity Disorder, more commonly known as DID. Kevin is juggling 23 different personalities when he kidnaps three teenage girls from one of the father’s car in a restaurant parking lot. A twenty-fourth personality was forming called “the beast,” that Kevin planned on sacrificing the girls to.

DID is a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation. In the United States, there are more than 200,000 documented cases of DID every year.

Dennis, Patricia, Hedwig, and the Beast are some of the personalities the audience is introduced to in “Split”. Only eight of the 24 personalities are shown on-screen and when present in Kevin’s body is known to “share the light”.

Dennis is a perverted man with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He was the character who drugged and kidnapped the three teenage girls, then placed them in an underground bunker which ended up being the basement of a zoo.

Patricia is the proper mother-like personality who acts as if she is the dean of a school ,and that the teenage girls are her students.

Hedwig is the immature personality of the twenty-four. He is a nine-year-old boy who likes to splurges out random facts such as, “I just ate a hotdog,” and, “I have red socks.” Also, his favorite word to put at the end of all of his sentences are “et cetera”. Hedwig is, eerily, the comic relief of this thriller movie.

The last personality of Kevin that we are introduced to is the Beast. The beast proves the ultimate idea of what humans can create with their own mental beliefs. He is larger, stronger, and has the ability to crawl on the ceiling. The Beast is so tough that even when threatened with a knife against his skin, the knife broke without making a mark to his stomach.

Sophomore Brandon Siegenthaler’s favorite personality “to share the light” was Hedwig because “he added some comic relief to the movie. This was needed because other parts were too intense all together.”

One of the teenage girls, named Casey Cooke, an outcast from the other two played by Anya Taylor-Joy, was raised and abused by her uncle with DID. Dealing with Kevin came easy to Casey because she knew how to act around him to make sure he did not feel uncomfortable around the girls and lash out to attack them.

Sophomore Payton Moran respects for McAvoy as he had to take on the challenging role as not only one character, but nine personalities. On “The Today Show,” lead actor James McAvoy joked about having to play nine different characters but only getting paid for one.

Although it can be interpreted in many ways and personalities for entertainment purposes, DID is a real disorder that affects about 1 percent of all human population. In a normal case of DID, about eight to thirteen diverse personalities show up but in extreme cases, there can be over 100 personalities in one individual.

Watching “Split”, which is directed, produced, and written by M. Night Shyamalan, can help further one’s understanding of DID and the effects it has on oneself and people in his surroundings.