by Nevin Hooper (guest classic movie reviewer)
Hello (again), fans of classic movies! I am back after reviewing the Spielberg film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I had no idea what to review next until I realized that the new movie IT just came out, which is about a bunch of kids who are troubled with frightening visions of their fears. So, why not review the film that started that genre…. The Sixth Sense.
If you are new to my reviews, we should get caught up on my grading system for movies. I rate movies on a range from 0/10 (movies that are so horrible that they should have never been made), to an 11/10 (movies that are so great, so amazing, that you just can’t give the average 10/10 grade). Now that you are caught up with that, on to the review!
Considered one of the best films of the year 1999, The Sixth Sense is still the best and most successful film by M. Night Shyamalan. Shyamalan nowadays has given himself a reputation of some great movies (The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable), but then started to really drag and made a lot of terrible films (The Happening, The Lady in the Water, The Last Airbender), and now has started to redeem himself in making some more better films (The Visit, Split). So let’s talk about the first film that gained him an incredible reputation: The Sixth Sense.
This film tells the story of acclaimed child psychologist, Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis, in a fascinatingly underrated performance) who, after a frightening encounter from one of his last patient’s, tries to figure out the troubled 8-year-old, Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment, in one of the best child performances ever that got him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor), but once Malcolm delves deeper into the mind of the frightened Cole, more secrets are revealed, which come with some frightening consequences.
Being one of my favorite films, The Sixth Sense has phenomenal performances from all, especially from the young Osment, but do not forget the brilliant performance by Willis, who is really the heart and sole of the film. But, what this film is most noted for is it’s unpredictable twists and turns in the story that are better left unspoiled. Shyamalan’s spooky script also does something that is very unusual for this type of film: it doesn’t focus on the horrifying secrets that Cole is revealing, but focuses on the personal drama between boy and psychologist. The relationship between them is fantastic, but the fact that the film is more of an emotional drama than a spooky story is what makes the film phenomenal. With amazing direction, subtle hints of what is to come, and brilliant use of the color red, it is just one of those must see films that I have to give an 11/10.