Monday, January 05, 2009

#89: The Sixth Sense (1999, Shyamalan)

M. Night Shyamalan does surprise endings. This was the first of his crazy little franchise that became increasingly megalomaniacal. Once we got to The Village, things were starting to smell a little fishy. It was a cool movie that I own with a fine cast. Then came The Chick in the Pool or whatever that was called, and the ending was telegraphed far too soon, but it didn't matter because Shyamalan had an idea and wasn't going to listen to anyone. I say all that to say that this was a phenomenon heralding a potential new great when it came out, but it will probably fade off the list like Amadeus and Dances With Wolves before it.

Additionally, I didn't find this movie all that enthralling. At the surprise ending, my reaction was, "Well, duh. I thought the glossing over of that very important event was odd." I actually liked the critically panned Unbreakable best of all 5 of his movies because it really embraced a sense of fun and wonder in getting to its conclusion. In fact, Unbreakable was really a fantastic precursor to the Spider-Man-led superhero movie genre that blew up a couple of years later.

Shyamalan has, sadly, not lived up to the promise of his early career and has delivered a series of films that have gone straight downhill. If he is able to regain himself later, perhaps The Sixth Sense will stand the test of time. Most likely, though, it will be forgotten. Oh well.


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