The Sixth Sense - Path-breaking Psychological Thriller

                                      Many people claim to have communicated with those who have passed over to the other side. They will tell you that they have felt the presence of their deceased partner, friend, or family member. These encounters are mysterious — defying both reason and explanation. But to those who have been blessed by them, they are very real and refreshing. These are the themes of The Sixth Sense, which is more than a scary movie or a ghost story. It's a riveting psychological thriller about death and its manifestations.

    Bruce Willis stars as Dr. Malcolm, a child psychiatrist whose brilliant career helping the younger ones has earned him a prestigious award from the city of Philadelphia, and he's happily married to an antique shop owner (Olivia Williams). One night, he meets a deranged former patient of his, who breaks into his house. After that fateful night, Malcolm is a different man, broken, and his wife and him grow distant. And then he meets Cole (Haley Joel Osment), a boy who has similar problems like that deranged patient.

                        He's overly quiet and weird, seems to live in constant terror and has unexplainable bruises and marks on his little body. Malcolm feels that if he can help Cole, he'll somehow redeem himself. Saying more would be unforgivable. This is the kind of movie with a big twist that makes you wanna see it again, as it puts everything into perspective.

        Viewers now, pretty much know three things going into an M. Night Shyamalan film: there will be ghosts or other elements of the supernatural, Mr. Shyamalan will make a cameo appearance, and most likely there'll be a trick ending. For me, the first of his supernatural thrillers remains the best. Shyamalan's script and direction are taut. At 29 years old, he had shown uncanny maturity and skill. The characters are complex and interesting. And the film's slow pace makes it only more evocative and powerful. 

                           The Sixth Sense is a low-key triumph of mood and menace; the most great thing about the movie is, it moves softly and quietly and goes about its business of creeping us out. Besides tension and thrills there's also genuine emotion in this film. In the starring role, Bruce Willis works well as Dr. Crowe. He may not have been the best choice for the role. Still, he plays the part with dignity and a sympathetic ear, and he is never distracting. 

                          Toni Collette is also quite good as Cole's mother, a recently divorced woman who is torn because her child is suffering, and she doesn't know how to help him. The most memorable actor in the movie is Haley Joel Osment, who plays the 11-year old boy. He is completely and utterly convincing as Cole, a little boy who has spent his entire life terrified by what he can see that others cannot. Shyamalan creates incredible atmosphere through the gloomy cinematography of Tak Fujimoto and James Newton Howard's offbeat score. 

                        Unlike the clever endings of films like "The Usual Suspects" or "Saw", this one makes absolute sense and doesn't feel like a trick. The entire picture is constructed around that final revelation, and if you're attentive it's obvious. The film received hardly any publicity until after its success, but The Sixth Sense is officially one of the highest-grossing horror picture in the movie history

                       The relevance of its themes, the moving performance, and Shyamalan's careful direction, makes 'The Sixth Sense,' a smart, entertaining, and a frightening one. 


The Sixth Sense - Imdb


umashankar said...

Now there! You pick up one of my all time favourites! I am obviously biased and would have preferred a longer analysis. Let me just stop by saying it is a fair assessment.

just another wake up call said...

one of the few horror movies that are on my list of favorites.... nice review and I agree hale - the eleven year old, has done a stupendous job!

Arun Kumar said...

@Umashankar, Thanks for your comment. One of my favorites too. Will definitely try to do a longer analysis for 'Sixth Sense' in the future.

@just another wake up call, Thanks for your comment.

Unknown said...

one of my all time fav. horror movies after shutter ans paranormal activity...

Arun Kumar said...

@rahul, Thanks for your comment. I too liked the movie 'shutter.'