The Sixth Sense

Posted: October 31, 2013 in Movies, Op-ed, Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

“I see dead people”

Those four words became iconic in the summer of 1999. With The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan made his first real splash in the film industry after making a couple of heartfelt yet largely ignored films. It was a cultural phenomenon that summer raking in large sums of money and making stars of Haley Joel Osment and Mr. Shyamalan as well. As several other films we have discussed this month, this isn’t necessarily a horror film but it shares a similarly terrifying tone. It certainly scared the shit out of the 12 year old me when it was released.

The film tells the story of a young boy named Cole Sear who is dealing with being at an awkward age and having divorced parents. Oh yeah, theres that whole being able to see wandering and sometimes angry spirits as well…that can’t really help matters much. It is simultaneously telling the story of psychiatrist Dr. Malcolm Crowe who, a year after being shot by a disturbed former patient who then turned the gun on himself, takes Cole’s case. Dr. Crowe is trying to deal with the fact that his marriage is deteriorating while trying to avoid failing Cole the way he did with the patient who shot him. After some very well written and performed dramatic cinema came the incredible twist ending that nobody stopped talking about for months, which I won’t spoil in case you’ve ignored this gem.

Mr. Shyamalan went on to make a couple more decent films, even one or two with a decent twist ending. Unfortunately for all of us, he never quite matched this film in quality. Fortunately for some and not so much for others, this was a high point in their career. It revitalized Bruce Willis’s lagging career and made him a huge star. After a couple of relatively well known films, Haley Joel Osment disappeared into the indie cinema abyss. Luckily, all parties involved left this gem for cinephiles to enjoy for years to come. For a film that will make you never look at a kitchen full of open cabinets or drawers the same, give this one a shot. Stay terrified, Happy Halloween to all!


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