Shortly after the release and subsequent praise of his hit thriller “The Sixth Sense,” director M. Night Shyamalan released a new thriller, “Unbreakable,” in November 2000.
Like the Shyamalan film before it, “Unbreakable” took audiences by storm with its edgy twist on the life of a superhero. Seventeen years later, Shyamalan threw audiences for a loop again with a new installment of the series, “Split,” that no one knew they were going to get. It wasn’t until the final scene of the film that audiences were made aware that the film was connected to the “Unbreakable” plot line.
Now, over 18 years since the first film’s release, fans everywhere are holding their breath with anticipation for newest installment in the series, “Glass,” which opens in theaters today.
If you’re unfamiliar with the films or just need to dust off your memory of the films, here is a detailed refresher of the previous films Naturally, beware of spoilers.
“Unbreakable” begins with David Dunn, played by Bruce Willis, riding a train home from New York City to Philadelphia after a job interview. En route, the train collides with another oncoming train and, of the 131 passengers on board, Dunn is the sole survivor, without the smallest scratch or bruise.
A stranger and comic book art gallery owner named Elijah Prince, played by Samuel L. Jackson, approaches Dunn and shares his theory that Dunn is among a rare group of people who possess hero qualities. Prince, nicknamed Mr. Glass because of a genetic condition that renders his bones extremely fragile, theorizes that there must be men and women with the opposite condition to his own—being “unbreakable.” Dunn writes Prince off as a lunatic comic enthusiast. After a series of unusual events, flashbacks and newfound abilities, including the ability to see the past and future actions of people he makes physical contact with, Dunn begins to believe Prince.
Eventually, Dunn uses his abilities to stop a robbery, saving a whole family in the process. He finds Prince to tell him of his discovery. After shaking hands with him, Dunn suddenly has a vision of Prince’s actions, which include countless horrendous acts of violence and terrorism, one of which was the train crash Dunn survived. Prince exclaims that he is the villainous “Mr. Glass” and the movie ends with the message that Dunn contacted the authorities, and Prince was sent to a mental institution.
“Split” opens with the kidnapping of three girls as they get in the car to head home from their friend’s birthday party. One of the girls, Casey, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, is quickly pinned as an outcast with a mysterious past, invited to the birthday party out of pity. Their kidnapper, Kevin Wendell Crumb, played by James McAvoy, takes control of the vehicle and sprays the girls with something, leaving them unconscious. The girls wake in a windowless room are unsure what their kidnapper wants from them, and whether or not they should fight him to get out.
The film jumps between the girls and scenes with Crumb and his therapist, Dr. Karen Fletcher, played by Betty Buckley. In her first scene, she watches the news about three missing girls. She receives a text from someone named Barry saying he needs to speak to her urgently. Viewers quickly find Crumb suffers from dissociative identity disorder, and Barry is one of his 23 personalities.
While the girls seek an escape, they encounter several of his personalities, including Patricia, a polite British persona who seems to be the voice of reason and responsibility in Crumb’s convoluted repertoire of personalities. They also meet Hedwig, a 9-year-old boy personality and Dennis, the personality that captured the girls.
The girls nearly escape through the ceiling, but Crumb’s Hedwig personality quickly reverts to Dennis and he catches them before they reach freedom.
In another therapy session, Crumb claims he is Barry, a more calm and docile personality, but Fletcher isn’t convinced and believes he has let Dennis, his violent personality, take control of the other personalities. Viewers learn about a 24th personality that Dennis claims to be real: “The Beast.”
The girls make several other attempts to escape, but none are successful.
Throughout a series of flashbacks, viewers see Casey as a young girl on a hunting trip with her uncle and father. It becomes clear that her uncle molested her on the trip.
Fletcher visits Crumb’s home and the two have a discussion about all the personalities. Fletcher discovers one of the girls locked away, and Crumb, as Dennis, kills her. He transforms into The Beast, who quickly kills two of the girls. Casey escapes her room and finds the dead girls and therapist who left a note behind suggesting that saying his full name, Kevin Wendell Crumb, will help him revert back to himself.
Confronted by The Beast, Casey uses the tactic and it works. Talking to Casey as himself, Crumb tells her to get a gun and kill him. However, while she tries to access it, he reverts to the Beast. Just before he kills her, he sees Casey’s scars left behind by her abusers. He deems her pure-hearted and leaves.
Throughout the movie, it is unclear that the film is connected to director Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan’s previous movie “Unbreakable.” Viewers see David Dunn watching the news about The Beast.
The king of unexpected twists, Shyamalan is sure to play with the minds of his fans once again in “Glass.” The film will hopefully answer the countless questions left unanswered by the two previous films.