There has been many great villains, but not like Kevin Crumb in Split. His character arc of having 24 different personalities is one of the defining factors that makes him a unique villain, but aside from his villainous actions, there is something else that makes him unique.
In the movie Split, we see Kevin’s personal life that features him going to see his therapist, and their conversations. From there, we see something we don’t see in many villains; their normal life. Many movies shows us the villains and what they do as villains, but not many go deeper to show us their normal life; what they’re doing when they’re not being a villain. For Kevin not only does he kidnap the girls, but he has a normal life which is shown to us.
By the movie showing us his normal life, it humanizes him, so we see that he isn’t just some bad guy, but that he is still a person. Through us seeing Kevin’s normal life and seeing him as a person, it allows us to sympathize with him. Not empathy in which we know why he’s doing what he’s doing, but at least sympathy where we feel something for him. Towards the end of the movie there is a scene where after Kevin realizes that he has killed the therapist, he says to Casey “kill me.” He feels bad for what he has done. The scene adds more sympathy for Kevin. He is the perfect villain because his character is able to get a huge amount of sympathy from the audience. On the other hand empathy does work for a villain, as audiences don’t need to sympathize as long as they understand the villain, but in this case the audience can have sympathy for Kevin. By doing that, even if it for a brief moment, we become Kevin Wendell Crumb.