“Once upon a time there was this person named Malcolm. He worked with children. He loved it. He loved it more than anything else. And then one night, he found out that he made a mistake with one of them.”
This week I will begin my new review series, WayBack Wednesday, where I will review an older movie every Wednesday! With so many lackluster movies coming out now-a-days, I wanted to remind people of some of the incredible and whimsical movies that came out in previous years. Movies that you may have not seen in years, or movies that you own on DVD. These reviews will hopefully take you back to the first time you saw it and remind you of that unforgettable movie experience.
First on the list is The Sixth Sense. The Sixth Sense was released all the way back in 1999. Now most everyone has either seen this movie or at least heard of it. It is a truly classic movie that inspired many subsequent movies. I was attempting to find movies to watch the other day, and stumbled upon The Sixth Sense. Now while I knew almost everything about this movie, from the incredible performances to the remarkable ending, I realized that I had never actually seen this movie from start to finish in one sitting. That all changed last night though.
Let me start off by saying one thing. This site is all about the importance of the “Movie Experience” and a movie’s ability to fully engross its viewers. Whether a movie makes you laugh till you cry, transports you to a dream-like world, or makes you feel genuine and authentic emotions, the experience during a movie is my favorite part. It does not matter how well the acting or story is if you do not enjoy the overall experience that a movie has. I remind you of all of this because The Sixth Sense truly has such an unforgettable “Movie Experience.”
The Sixth Sense is the type of film that leaves you shaken at the end, and not just because of its haunting ending. Throughout the entire film, you grow more and more invested with the characters and their stories and this allows you to fully captivate yourself into the atmosphere of the movie.
The Sixth Sense centers around a child psychologist, Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis), who after feeling regretful over the mistakes he made with a former patient, decides to turn his focus towards a troubled and misunderstood boy, Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) , in hopes of restoring his marriage and ultimately his conscious. Now that’s all I can really say about the plot without spoiling too much. I promise that the less you know about this movie, the more you will enjoy the overall experience.
The Director and Writer, M. Night Shyamalan, has in recent years experienced a truly awful backlash for movies like Lady in the Water, The Last Airbender, and The Happening. Although it seems that he has made a triumphant return with 2017’s Split. These movies were heavily criticized because of the fact they were never able to live up to The Sixth Sense. Even his movies such as Signs and Unbreakable, which were good movies in their own right, were constantly being compared to The Sixth Sense.
Shyamalan’s script and direction are in their top forms in The Sixth Sense. While in his other movies, his scripts have seem illogical and unconnected, and the dialogue has been absolutely awful (I’m looking at you The Happening), The Sixth Sense’s script is his best because of not only its originality, but because of how simple and vulnerable it is. The characters are actually real and authentic people, and the story flows together beautifully from scene to scene. Shyamalan understand his characters motives and passions, and therefore the dialogue never seems forced. His direction is beautifully haunting as he takes you to what seems like another world, even though it is set in present day Pennsylvania. From the imagery to the symbols, everything compliments and uniquely tells this story.
Now the acting is near-perfect. Bruce Willis give a terribly underrated performance as a psychiatrist who is broken, confused, and remorseful. What makes his performance so great though is that it is a very non-typical Willis role. It is a very reserved and simple role that requires him to express so much by saying so little. And he makes sure to never over-step his fellow co-star, Haley Joel Osment. Toni Collette is once again outstanding as Cole’s mom, Lynn, who like Willis’s character, is attempting to find meaning and peace in her seemingly distraught life. And last, but not least, Haley Joel Osment, gives one of the best performances of all time as Cole. Yes, that’s right. ALL TIME. There has been so much said about his performance over the years including a deserving Oscar nomination, that my praise cannot do him justice. I know that Shyamalan wrote the role of Dr. Malcolm Crowe for Bruce Willis, but trust me when I say that Haley Joel Osment was born to play Cole. A child actor has never been more chilling and genuine while expressing such convincing emotions and fear.
This movie will ultimately always be remembered for its ending, Osment’s performance, and the “I see dead people” line, and deservingly so, but this is truly the complete package when it comes to movie-making. Yes, there are some awkward transitions, cheesy lines, and some unrealistic tendencies, but none of those take away from this immaculate movie experience. An experience that will stay with you for years.
Movie Experience: 19/20
Overall Rating: 95/100
Honest Movie Experience: The Sixth Sense seemingly and effortlessly combines horror, drama, and suspense into one film. Yet at the end of the day, it is the vulnerable and touching story that leave the biggest and longest-lasting impact on you.