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Fan Theories About M. Night Shyamalan Movies That Are The Ultimate Twist

Updated February 26, 2021 14.7k votes 3.8k voters 222.0k views12 items

List RulesVote up the theories that could turn out to be the ultimate twist.

Love them or hate them, M. Night Shyamalan movies have a tendency to stick with you long after leaving the theater, as your mind attempts to unravel all the symbolism and intricate details they contain. But a group of Reddit fans went even deeper into the Shyamalan universe, diving into a rabbit hole of fan theories that could change everything. These Shyamalan fan theories place films like Split, Unbreakable, Glass, and The Village in a whole new light.

From The Sixth Sense to After Earth, you'll get a look at some of the wildest and most brilliant M. Night Shyamalan fan theories ever to hit the internet. Vote up the theory that sounds the most probable.

  • 5

    'Signs' Is Actually About Demons Walking The Earth, Not Aliens

    If you're one of the many fans who was hooked by the ultra-creepy set-up in Signs, only to leave the theater mumbling "Seriously? The aliens are defeated with water?," then you're not alone.

    However, Redditor u/ZorroMeansFox asks the question: What if they weren't aliens at all, but demons? Remember that the movie doesn't feature advanced alien technology or multi-million dollar special effects, but relies more on simple practical effects using light and makeup. 

    Also, keep in mind that Mel Gibson's character is a man of God who struggles with a crisis of faith. Coincidence? Maybe not.

    Another key hint is that his daughter is sometimes referred to as being "holy" or "an angel." Could it be that the water she's placed around the house is actually holy water?

    Then there's the announcement that an ancient method of slaying the invaders was first discovered “in three small cities in the Middle East,” which could be a reference to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the three major faiths that sprang out of the region.

    Last but not least, there's the movie's name itself. Signs is a reference to "signs and wonders," which is distinctly biblical. 

    Is this a good theory?
  • 6

    'Lady in the Water' Is About The Power Of Storytelling

    Some thought Lady in the Water was a beautiful movie, while others found it confusing. If you find yourself in the second group, then a fan theory by Redditor u/MohoJoeJoe may help.

    On the surface, the film is about a group of people who live in an apartment complex called The Cove, where they're visited by a mythical water nymph named Story (hint number one). Redditor u/MohoJoeJoe theorizes that the characters from The Cove may be archetypal characters from a variety of different stories who band together to get Story to safety. Their efforts contain a great deal of symbolism about what it takes to bring an actual story to life. 

    Notice that the only character who actually perishes in the movie is the critic Harry Farber, which shows that great storytellers must overcome both their own inner critics and the negative opinions of others.

    Then there is the character played by Shymalan himself, a struggling writer who is working on a book called The Cookbook. He's later told that in order for his work to become known, he will have to perish, but The Cookbook will have a huge impact on a young boy and will inspire him to greatness. This could symbolize that once a writer creates a story, often only by overcoming their own ego, it takes on a life of its own. 

    Is this a good theory?
  • 7

    'The Happening' Is A Prequel To 'After Earth'

    'The Happening' Is A Prequel To 'After Earth'
    Photo: After Earth / Columbia Pictures

    While few of us would want to be around for the events in either The Happening or After Earth, Reddit user u/Spacebotzero theorizes that the two films may be connected. After Earth is set 1,000 years after the initial evacuation of Earth, perhaps after the time plants and water have evolved ways to keep the planet free of both animals and humans.

    But could it be that they got started during the events of The Happening? This would make sense, given that The Happening's premise involves plants taking revenge on humanity.

    Is this a good theory?
  • 8

    Casey In 'Split' Is One Of Kevin's Personalities

    While everyone who saw Split freaked out over the twist that it was set in the Unbreakable universe, Redditor u/tehsideburns theorized that everyone may have missed an ultimate twist: What if Casey, the outcast girl, was actually Kevin all along?

    Redditor u/tehsideburns points out that there is a great amount of evidence in the film to support this theory. First of all, take a look at their names: Kevin Crumb= K.C.= Casey.

    Kevin's split began at age 3 due to trauma from his mother, and it could be that Casey was the first of his personalities to develop. Could it be that Kevin abducts the two popular girls because it was Casey who was actually in their class and was tormented by them? This seems to be validated by the fact that Kevin sprays the two girls and not Casey when he gets in the car near the beginning of the film.

    Then there's the fact that Casey is separated from the other girls in almost every scene. And when they talk to her, they almost appear to be scared. Could they recognize her as one of Kevin's personalities and be appealing to her for help?

    Read Redditor u/tehsideburns' post for a full explanation.  

    Is this a good theory?