[Film: The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan, 1999]
The Unaccountable Masterpiece:

On the Writing, Themes, and Acting of M. Night Shyamalan’s Bafflingly Excellent The Sixth Sense

 

Haley Joel Osment Sketch by M.R.P. - The Sixth Sense - M. Night Shyamalan - writing, acting, themes, plot twist

Caricature Sketch by M.R.P.
[High-res prints available here]

Introduction:

If Y2K had been the civilization-crippling event it was projected to be, and The Sixth Sense was being screened in front of a huddled collection of survivors in a dystopian auditorium on a jury-rigged projector, Shyamalan’s stunted career would be considered an artistic loss on par with the early deaths of Wilfred Owen, Jimi Hendrix, and John Keats.

As the twenty-first century began and wore on, however, the man who Newsweek Magazine once labeled “The Next Spielberg” churned out poorer and poorer examples of writing and directing, ultimately hitting a protracted 10-year-long rock bottom from 2005 to 2015. To give modern context to the relative evaluation of The Sixth Sense in this analysis, here’s a quick refresher on the movies that M. Night Shyamalan both directed and wrote (or adapted) during that darkest decade:

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[Film: The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan, 1999]
The Unaccountable Masterpiece:

On the Writing, Themes, and Acting of M. Night Shyamalan’s Bafflingly Excellent The Sixth Sense

was last modified: July 7th, 2022 by Daniel Podgorski