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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Theory: Split takes place in the same universe as The Sixth Sense, too

Illustration for article titled Theory: Split takes place in the same universe as The Sixth Sense, too
Screenshot: Split Trailer (YouTube)

Not only was Split the first M. Night Shyamalan movie in a number of years that didn’t completely suck, but it was also the first to draw a direct link to another film in the director’s oeuvre. In the film’s post-credits scene, we see Bruce Willis reprise his role as David Dunn from Unbreakable and name check Samuel L. Jackson’s character Mr. Glass. The story of these characters, along with James McAvoy’s multiple-personality-having villain, will continue in Shyamalan’s next film, Glass. But some fans are starting to speculate that the interconnectedness of these films won’t end with this trilogy, but set up a whole, sprawling Shyamalanaverse.


The theory comes to us from Reddit user eatraylove, who makes the case that, in addition to being an Unbreakable sequel, Split also takes place in the same world as The Sixth Sense, just eighteen years later. The main evidence for this theory comes from the scenes involving Kevin’s therapist Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley), who does controversial work with patients suffering from dissociative identity disorder (DID). During a Skype conference with a group of intellectuals, Dr. Fletcher suggests that DID is “the ultimate doorway to all things we call unknown” and is “where our sense of supernatural comes from.”

It’s her casual employment of the term “supernatural” that really forms the backbone of this fan theory. Perhaps, 18 years after kids like Cole Sear starting conversing with dead people, supernatural abilities have become more commonplace and accepted in society. Eatraylove even suggests that Dr. Fletcher herself my have the sixth sense ability, citing a weird scene in which Fletcher watches TV with a random old woman who appears to struggle to interact with physical objects. Maybe that’s why she’s so invested in connecting Kevin’s DID with something beyond scientific understanding.

Sure, there are some pretty big leaps in the theory, and it doesn’t really account for the fact that there are two guys who look exactly like Bruce Willis in this cinematic universe, but it seems fitting that M. Night Shyamalan would spend twenty years building to the ultimate twist—the movies were connected all along! Now we just have to figure out how The Happening fits in here. Or—better yet—how about we just forget all about that movie.

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