Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Day 2 of 365 (.5%)

The Sixth Sense

As I stated before, I am using a random number generator to pull these topics from a huge list I prepared. So, let's take a look at The Sixth Sense and its place in horror history.

Nowadays, this movie is known for the twist ending and that is about it. It launched M. Night Shyamalan into the public consciousness that he would later fall out of (and sort of back into) favor with. The takeaway seemed to be that the twist was everything and all his movies would need one from here on out.

I want to evaluate it as a horror movie in and of itself. For one, I saw this in the theater when it was first released and it fooled me. I didn't see the ending coming because Shyamalan worked very hard to take what we know about movie editing and use it against us. If you don't know the ending by now, well SPOILER ALERT. One would be foolish not to ask yourself if Dr. Malcolm Crowe (played by Bruce Willis) is one of the ghosts young Cole can see. But, there are enough scenes without Cole that show Willis seemingly interacting with other cast members that your mind accepts these scenes at face value and moves on. Only on rewatching do you notice that no one ever really interacts with Crowe in a meaningful way. So, just from the perspective of the twist, I thought it was extremely well done and added a poignant emotional layer to the story.

Otherwise, you essentially have a premise that could have run for many, many movies of Cole interacting with a ghost, helping to resolve its issues and then the ghost leaving him alone. Much like Unbreakable was seemingly all set up. This movie plays like a pilot to a tv show that never happens. Cole and Crowe use Cole's powers to help resolve the murder of one little girl and then the whole thing pretty much ends.

In terms of real horror, there isn't much here. Some jump scares and spooky imagery are the worst of it. The ghosts themselves are mostly harmless, just wanting someone to help them. More Twilight Zone than Night Gallery, this movie was a solidly constructed thriller that came around at a good time to get an audience actively involved in your plot.

Without knowing the twist first, B+. Knowing the twist first, C+.

1 comment:

  1. I've been wanting to watch this again. I am with you on being fooled the first time around. And yeah, exactly, you don't even question it because of the other "interactions." Now that M Night has become a bit of a punchline, I have to remind myself that his first couple of films, particularly this one, were really quite solid and I enjoyed them quite a bit. I'll have to add a rewatch of this to my 31 list for next year.