The Sixth Sense (1999)



Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Impressive and Nostalgic

Ghost movies are a dime a dozen nowadays, as are movies with twist endings. However, there are a precious few that are regarded with the utmost respect, regardless if the movie is actually scary or not. The thing that most horror films don’t seem to realize is that the level of fear in a movie is just one element, it still has to be filmed and edited professionally and well-done…not campy, as too many have fallen victim to nowadays. The Sixth Sense is a powerful movie that is honestly done very well, and yes, is actually pretty creepy (especially if you haven’t already seen it). If you have, you simply can view it in a whole new light and growing respect for M. Night’s vision.

The Sixth Sense is centered around Cole (Haley Joel Osment), a very disturbed young boy who has the ability to see and talk to the dead. Apparently, the dead have this…inner voice telling them to seek out Cole to find answers to whatever is keeping them stuck in this world. Unfinished business, if you will. Helping him out in this venture is Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) who specializes in helping kids with issues like this. Cole wants answers, but all that Malcolm wants is to talk to his wife again, who seems to be upset with him.

[SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT FORWARD, that is, if you somehow weren’t already spoiled in the last 14 years] There is almost no way to review this film without completely ruining the entire thing by giving away the main point…I mean there kind of is, but for one…most people already know it…secondly, I have a lot more to talk about when it comes to the twist, because the twist defines the entire movie…from start to finish. So, the idea is that Bruce Willis’s character is dead. The entire movie, he is dead. When you first watch it, that shocks you so much, and it gave M. Night so much recognition. It also popularized the idea of giving most movies a twist ending. However, I don’t want to talk about the twist as much as I want to talk about the filmmaking style.

M. Night knew exactly what he was doing when he made the movie. He may have declined in his career since then, but he did everything right from start to finish – right here. When you watch it a second time, you mostly look for clues and realize that the fact that he is dead is completely obvious to you. The third time you watch it, and consequently any more times that you watch it, you start to realize that there are people behind the camera. This is a perfect example for a movie to look for certain responsibilities of all of the movie crew.

The color red is a vital color in the whole movie, signifying death – either in that scene or coming up in the scene. It’s also almost always surrounding Bruce Willis’s character, giving away the fact that he is also dead. Also, there are key moments in the movie that speak to your subconscious to guide your mind to think that he is alive. It’s like he is sitting next to people having conversations with them, but he’s really not. The boldness in the movie is spectacular. M. Night really knew how to target people’s subconscious, and he did so pretty well in this, Signs, Unbreakable, and even The Village (to a degree). Since then, his remarkable ability to direct people’s thoughts has decreased significantly.

Is the movie scary still? Maybe not as scary as it is creepy…but even if you aren’t super scared of the movie, it really doesn’t matter, because it might even astonish you of how much hard work was put into the movie to make it absolutely perfect. Nowadays, this movie has defined this generation of movie twists so much that we, as an audience, are always paranoid that this movie will have a twist, or that one will. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, but if you ever see a movie try to give a twist that effects the entire movie, realize how it’s not really done right. This had one of the best twists in movie history, period.

If you haven’t seen it, I’m sorry that I spoiled you, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.


5 thoughts on “The Sixth Sense (1999)

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