Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Sixth Sense (1999) - Exceptional Psychological Thriller

What an absolutely fantastic piece of work directed by M. Night Shyamala. Honestly after watching this film I was overwhelmed. Not only is the film itself exceptional, but the film is perfectly concluded with a twist. One that you perhaps may have not expected, however I anticipated it coming later into the film. I'll do my best not to address any sort of spoilers but the ending is remarkable.

If you have seen the ending for this film, then I'll let you in on how I knew. At one point in the film Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) shouts on a guy in his car with a window down. However this man does not react to the shout which led to me anticipating the truth in the end. Anyway, the film receives fantastic scores:

  • IMDB - 8.2/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - 85%
  • Metacritic - 64%
It certainly deserves those scores in my opinion; however I feel Metacritic scores are slightly harsh as it's one of the best thrillers I have seen.

If you haven't seen this masterpiece, then the plot revolves around Malcom Crowe (Bruce Willis) who is a child psychologist and receives an award on the same night that he is visited by a very unhappy ex-patient. After this encounter, Crowe takes on the task of curing a young boy with the same ills as the ex-patient. This boy - Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) - "sees dead people". Crowe spends a lot of time with the boy much to the dismay of his wife. Cole's mom is at her wit's end with what to do about her son's increasing problems. Crowe is the boy's only hope.

I could speak about the strengths of this film all day. Not only is the plot fantastic, but the beginning of it completely shocks us right away and causes us to even experience some complication. The general length of the film is perfect in my opinion as it delays the surprise ending enough, whilst showing how Crowe aids the poor young Cole. Another feature is the emotional aspect. Of course you can think of it as being quite thrilling, however I understood some moments to be sad. At several points in the film we witness Cole weeping and begging Crowe for help due to his fear. Also, in the car crash scene near the end, we witness Cole's mum completely bursting into tears as she learns about Cole's secret and what her grandmother has been trying to say to her. If you're looking for a few frights as well, then make sure you watch this thriller with no lights on. Not only does it deliver a perfect, eerie atmosphere for the majority of the film, but there are some jump-scares that appear completely out of nowhere. I honestly didn't expect any of them to happen as the film seems calm for the majority of it. I also thought the film was very creepy at several points as we watched Cole casually turn round to see people hung from the ceiling, or people with smashed in faces walking about. This is definitely got to be the best work of M. Night Shyamalan.

I am going to be completely honest here in telling you that I didn't notice any weaknesses at all in this film. My honest opinion is that I didn't feel it was weak at all. You could say that it was confusing at some points; however I feel that confusing moments are essential in this film in making us think about it.

For me, this is possibly the best thriller you may ever watch. It was for me anyway. Before I reviewed this film, I knew I wanted to watch it again and so I did only a couple of hours ago from now since it's such a masterpiece. Fantastic plot, exceptional acting, and a magnificent ending for once in a horror/thriller. The final question is though - would you love a "sixth sense" to be able to see dead people?

Overall Rating - 10/10

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