Pop Junk’s 31 Days of Halloween #19 The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense is the film debut of M.Night Shamalan and was a huge hit in 1999 which generated a ton of buzz because of it’s twist ending that really resonated with movie goers.  Well the movie is 12 years old so if you’ve never seen it then you probably never will and I feel comfortable talking about the end here.  Bruce Willis is Luke Skywalkers father….BOOM! Ok seriously, Bruce Willis is advising a trouble little kid who is seeing ghosts and it turns out Bruce Willis is himself a ghost.  Well back in 1999 this ending was ruined for me so I didn’t run out to see this movie because why bother if someone screwed up the ending for me, whats the use.  Well a few years later I finally sat down and was more surprised at how good the movie actually was, rather than the surprise ending.

This film is a tale of psychological terror as a young boy named Cole played by Hale Joel Osment just goes through life terrified dealing with these powers he inexplicably aquired, which is communicating with the dead. Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is a child psychologist who is the only person Cole has confided in and shares his terifying secret.  The doctor begins to big deeper into Cole’s strange power’s and this begins to lead into some strange things about himself and his secrets. It’s tough enough just being a meek little 11 year old, but seeing dead people everywhere you turn is some heavy shit and this movie does an excellent job conveying that sentiment.

Upon it’s release everyone and their sister raved about Haley Joel Osment’s performance which is excellent but what’s really lost in all of this is Bruce Willis who I thought was honestly giving one of his best screen performances.  He gives us a very quiet and subdued Bruce Willis which looks so well with the chilling tone and feel of this film.  Some would argue that this isn’t a horror movie, and I disagree, it’s just a different kind of horror movie.  Sometimes Horror wants to cut your head off and drink your blood, sometimes I just wants to slowly sneak up on you and place an icey cold hand on your shoulder in the dark.

There are just so many scenes that are brilliantly shot with some really methodical cinematography and it’s those elements that make this movie really work.  Add in an amazing score by James Newton Howard augmenting the tension and anxiety that this movie provides.  The surprising ending is very cool if just for the sheer fact that it makes you want to re-watch this movie at full attention.

There’s more hole’s in the plot than I’d care to mention as with most M. Night Shamalan films and how I feel about him as a film maker is something I’d rather not get into either. Yet I have to give the man credit for creating an original property in the horror community that struck a nerve with a great number of people including myself.   Any movie that’s one of the highest grossing R rated movies in film history has to get it’s due on this list.

Bonus: Score

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~ by ATOM on October 13, 2011.

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