on July 4, 2004
I was listening to the Movie Show on Radio one Saturday as I was working on my truck, when I heard Mad Max Weiss mention that The Sixth Sense had one of the most surprising endings of any movie. That did it, I had to rent it.
Staring Bruce Willis as child psychologist Malcolm Crowe and Haley Osment and the disturb child Cole Sear, The Sixth Sense is both a psychological thriller and a horror movie at the same time. Terrifying visions of dead people haunts the child, Cole. He has learned to repress what he sees for fear of being called insane. So at first, we see it as a psychological thriller. Later, we learn that the visions are real, so perhaps we are watching a horror flick, but as the move progresses it never degenerates into a silly horror movie, but keeps its psychological edge.
Although Bruce Willis is one of my favorite actors, I am afraid that I have underestimated his acting ability. This is an outstanding movie that grabs your attention and does not let go until the final credits roll. And the ending, oh yes, it was a surprise- I did not see it coming. If you have not seen this movie, rent it now. You will want to watch it several times. It is that good. Not a movie for the faint of heart or your wee ones- it will give them nightmares for a week; but if you are looking for a first rate psychological thriller you may want to add this to your DVD collection.
on June 2, 2004
The Sixth Sense
The Sixth Sense (1997) directed by M. Night Shyamalan, which he wrote and plays the part of Dr. Hill, a psychiatrist, is a timely masterpiece. The late 90's was a time for increased and renewed spiritually. Many individuals were and are still seeking answers to what happens after we die. Shyamalan was born in India where belief in reincarnation is very strong. While he was born in India he grew up in the United States in Philadelphia. There is a quality of "other world ness" or "wholly unknown" that he brings to the screen. What some have only imagined or "wholly sensed" he brings to life on film. His works include Signs (2002) and currently he is in post production of The Village (2004). What he and fellow director Jerry Zucker (Ghost, 1990) both portray through the genres of drama, mystery, and thriller is: Unfinished business keeps you around after you die.
Unfinished business is what keeps Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist around for a while. Despite the fact that his grieving wife has not been able to let him completely go- she plays home movies to keep him close, for a while. Individuals do sense sometimes their loved ones who have passed on are right beside them. This could be in the role of protector, as in Ghost, where Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) tries to protect his girlfriend Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) from harm, or as a guardian angel. One theme within both films is that of coming to terms with oneself and to be at peace. This was accomplished for Sam when he was able to communicate his message through Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), thus saving Molly from certain death. In The Sixth Sense Crowe feels guilty about not being able to help is de-ranged ex-client. To do penance for that he tries to help, and succeeds in doing so, Cole. Cole for his part learns to face his fears, and works with his gift instead of against it. He helps the dead girl communicate a message to her father about her death. Through the process Crowe walks with Cole, afterwards he is able to let go, but first he whispers into his wife's ear how much he loves her.
What makes this film and others like it so interesting is that our society has within it a sub-culture of those who believe in the supernatural. The popularity of Crossing Over with Jonathan Edwards attests to this fact, as well as It's a Miracle. People want answers and will go to almost any length to get them. Many individuals have testified that they have either sensed or seen deceased family members at one time or another. The Sixth Sense is a great film for those of us with imagination and also for those without imagination.
on May 22, 2004
Director: M. Night Shyamalan.
Cast: Bruce Willis, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Haley Joel Osment, Glenn Fitzgerald.
Running Time: 108 minutes.
Rated PG-13 for ghastly scenes, violence, and mild language.
"The Sixth Sense" is M. Night Shyamalan's first major studio directorial production, yet a rookie mistake is not present in this masterful ghost thriller that has become one of the most prestigous and talked-about horror-dramas of all time. The film begins with an up-and-coming child psychologist (Bruce Willis, in his most exceptional role to date) celebrating his new-found success with his wife (played by Olivia Williams). The night is going splendidly; however, a failed child of the psychologist takes his frustration out, shooting him before taking his own life.
A year transpires after this horrific event, with Willis's character still trying to piece back the puzzle that was lost on that night. The psychologist meets a troubled youngster played by the Oscar-nominated Osment, who happens to have a special sense that allows him to see and speak to ghosts. At first terrifyed of the ghouls, Willis instructs the child to help the "dead people" instead of being afraid.
The film is brilliantly directed and scripted, twisting and turning until the much-heralded resolution. While Willis and Osment's performances are hauntingly special, Toni Collette's role as the tormented mother of Osment is the shining star of the film, delivering a powerful performance. "The Sixth Sense" is a deep, terrifying look into the world of the supernatural, but unfolds into a film about faith, love, and unbridled second chances. A soulful masterpiece that will send chills up spines.
on June 1, 2004
Cole Sear (played wonderfully by Haley Joel Osment) is always hiding behind the "magnificent red curtain". Unable to comfortably associate with his peers, he has accepted the delegated task of the minor player, the victim, the bullied. Only when Sear tried to accept his 'fate', with the help of child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (brilliantly acted by Bruce Willis), did he realise the many beautiful opportunities he could have.
M. Night Shyamalan delivered, for me, an unusually uplifting suspense thriller. Sort of a 90s "Wizard of Oz". His craftmanship is superb. It was highly disappointing he failed to win the OSCAR Best Director trophy for The Sixth Sense.
Australian actress Toni Collette, as Cole's mother, is wonderful in her minor role. She is a world-class actor, and the car scene with Osment would have to be one of the best acted scene in the history of the silver screen. Subtle yet powerful!!!
Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osement, all actors have a superb acting chops to give and this movie really holds more than its fair share. The script is very intelligently written, knows its boundaries and the suspense, thrills and psychological contexts unfold in a very mature storytelling. Though the first moments may be very scary, some of the film's tension comes from characters' personal struggles. Overall, this is superb filmmaking with second and third degrees of speculations, with a slightly moral fiber at its core... one suspenseful ride that actually delivers on its promises.
Special features regroup just about everything that was in the former 2-disc DVD edition, but it seems the single disc DVD carried a "hidden" feature, M. Night Shyamalan's first "horror movie"... maybe not a big loss, but it sure shows how the director matured in his storytelling.
on March 20, 2012
A really great movie that concentrates on character more than action. Full of subtle clues and elaborate metaphors. If you prefer action packed thrillers with lots of car chase scenes and women with cleavage then you won't like this. Bruce Willis plays a children's psychologist with a deep empathy for children and a remarkable ability to intuit the meaning of their fears. He combines this with an other worldly ability to divine the dark side.
I loved this movie. You will be surprised at the ending and it leaves one thinking about how they could possibly have missed all the clues that point to the real meaning of what was happening.
This movie is positively brilliant.
on July 16, 2004
"I see dead people". If you've been hiding under a rock for the last few years you missed this fantastic horror film. The return of good horror films after a long long dry spell of Scream, Friday the 13th and all the other stupid horror films. This is a fantastic smart horror film. A must own.
on June 12, 2004
I'd like to add this to the other positive reviews I've just read...This is simply one of the most brilliant stories I've ever had the pleasure of watching, and it still boggles my mind that such a masterpiece came to be! I became an instant fan of the man who directed this movie, and one must watch the film to truly see why. About twenty minutes after I finished watching the movie(including the great bonus material after the end), I rewound it and played it a second time. Absolutely brilliant how this film is a totally different experience the second time around, like a two sided coin or the difference between a photo and it's negative-two great films wrapped in one!!!! One of the finest films I've seen in years, truly a must see. Enjoy!!
on May 18, 2004
The first time you watch this film, you'll be shocked. The second time, you'll learn to look for all the clues. If you watch it more than twice, you'll spot pretend clues, and wonder if they mean anything. And eventually, you will know the film back to front.
For first time watchers, this movie is terrific. It's almost terrifying to watch, and horrible to try and work out what exactly is happening to Cole, and also, the lovely Bruce Willis.
If you watch carefully, you'll notice the colour red plays a big part in this movie, particularly when something's about to happen, or is happening. Although, after a while, you start noticing things that are red, that have nothing to do with danger (the mum quite often has red nail varnish and wears a red top in the last couple of scenes and there are red candles in the house). But just watching for these clues again had something to the movie that it didn't have the first time watching.
Some people say that the film was so predictable, cos they knew from the opening scenes what was going to happen (when Malcolm, Bruce Willis' character, got shot). Well, it wasn't so obvious to me the very first time I watched it. However, films that are too predictable, are rubbish. I would have hated to have known all along what the ending was.
Both Bruce & Haley (Joel Osment) are so cute in this movie. Don't know what it is about Brucie in this, he looks kinda rough sometimes, but it just adds to the whole loveliness of him!
This is a movie that will stay with you for ages afterwards. Whether it was the constant emails, particularly after the Queen Mother died, with her picture in stills from the movie, or its repeats on TV - you'll be reminded of this great movie constantly.
And I just have to hear "I see dead people", and it sends shivers up my spine with remembering the scene in the movie that it happens!
on January 9, 2004
This movie depends on two things. How much you figure out before it ends and how much you have invested yourself in this movie. The two go hand in hand. The truth is that many people figured out the ending within the first few minutes on the bases that they simply "heard" it had a great twist. It is actually not that hard to figure out even if you just hear the plot alone and couple that with the fact it has a twist. If you view this film without having heard anything beforehand you are in a much better position to enjoy it, but there is a margin out there who will get it and will only enjoy it because other people did not get it and there is some fun to be had in knowing that other people where played with. Do not believe for a moment that people who say they got it are lying about that. I know plenty of people who got it and the film thus did not have the desired impact that it retains throughout the whole slow affair for that final manipulation of the audience.
The truth be told that the whole weight of this somewhat low-budget film is based on the twist. The actual production values are somewhat minimal. You can see that the producers of this flick had trimmed as much as they could on the budget knowing that the impact of the final reel would more than makeup for putting this flick out on the cost that it was made on. There was no risk involved in doing that but obviously it was a financial strategy that worked out for everybody involved. You can see that everyone was happy with the gamble and it paid off. Could you imagine if this film had a bunk ending or a twist that was not very good? The whole film then looks like Bruce Willis just hooked up with a film student for the hell of it.
The actual acting on display here is not cutting edge but Haley Joel Osment does walk circles around everyone including Willis. Osment is a very important casting decision here. Without him it would loose some impact. The film's pace is dreadfully slow and it does stall at times. However if you are looking for a payoff then you will get a whooper of a payoff here, unless you fall into the marginal category who have got it and then must sit out the rest of this slow journey until your suspicions are finally unmasked.
This is a great twist of a movie, but not such a great movie. Again the premise, plot and structure is based on that ending, a small gamble because of the strength of the twist, but still it leaves the vast majority of this movie somewhere around mediocre with limitations that do show themselves now and again. Sometimes the acting is actually not very good and is a little on the experimental "new" side which does not suite having an A-list actor at the helm.
So the verdict here is five stars if you are oblivious to everything until the end but only three stars if you get it and must watch through the whole slow affair.