The Sixth Sense

Year: 1999

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Written by: M. Night Shyamalan

Threat: Ghosts

Weapon of Choice: Pistol

IMDb page: IMDb link

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Rish Outfield's 1999 Review
This is not going to be reviewed for our page. Upon viewing it, tyranist and I agreed that it was not Horror (this previously happened after the movie, Apt Pupil, where we felt that it had many Horror elements, but did not belong on the page). It was, however, a fantastic movie, and a testament to the power of word-of-mouth on box office success. Lastly, and most definitely not leastly, it was the scariest 1999 film to date, Horror or not. Take that, Blair Witch Project.
Rish's 2004 Review
Acclaimed child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis), still reeling from the failure to help a former patient, finds a second chance of sorts in young, disturbed Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), who holds a terrifying secret ability.
Enough time has passed (five years, to be exact) that I think we can really review this now. When it was originally released (and reviewed), tyranist and I didn't want to give anything away, not even what Cole's sixth sense was, so we opted not to do Skulls, and said as little as possible.
I'm not sure why we thought it wasn't Horror, though. I mean, this was the scariest movie of the Nineties, for Pete's sake. It was also one of my favourites (best movie of the year and in the top five flicks of the decade, actually). But though Buena Vista will call it a Mystery, a Supernatural Drama, and the dread T-word, this is a ghost movie much more at home next to Shining and Satan's School For Girls than Shadowlands or Sliver.
But yes, it's also a profoundly touching, uplifting, and engrossing film, in addition to the creepy aspects. You care about the characters, and that makes the scares all the more powerful. Writer/Director M. Night Shyamalan impressed me as few directors has with this film (and its great followups, Unbreakable and Signs). Haley Joel Osment earned his Oscar nomination for the flick, and the audience is reminded that Bruce Willis can really act.
A lot has been made about the twist ending, but the film actually works without it. It would've been a great film anyway, had things just ended after the boy was helped. Instead, the shock of the brilliant twist adds a new level to an already-excellent film, and catapults it to Awesome status.
The sound, the music, the shock effects, the tension leading up to scares, and concept itself are all scary to me. The Sixth Sense has kept me up a couple of nights, imaging that it got suddenly cold in the room and the hair was standing up at the back of my neck.
That's them, you see.
I'd Recommend It To: Any fan of film brave enough to see it.

The tyranist's thoughts
Rish and I actually saw this film over four weeks ago. We debated the issue then and decided not to do a review. But we also couldn't just ignore the movie since it is very definitely a horror movie and is very, very popular. It seems both right and wrong to not be doing skulls and reviewing The Sixth Sense, but that is our decision. There are so many strong horror elements in the film that even the hardened "it's a thriller, not horror" crowd is admitting that it is horror. For Rish and I, however, the incredible story of human compassion and triumph is much more important than that of a kid who happens to be gifted. This movie is easily one of the greatest movies released in 1999 (a year that provided a lot of great movies), and it should not be overlooked by anyone. For us, though, to give it skulls would take away from some of the magic of the movie and we absolutely do not want to do that. Trust us. As a horror fan, this is a movie that you absolutely should see. As a film fan, this is a movie you must not overlook. But for us to take the movie apart and display its elements shifts the emphasis away from what the movie really is about.

Total Skulls: 4

Sequel setup
Rips off earlier film
Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie
Future celebrity appears
Former celebrity appears
Bad title
Bad premise
Bad acting
Bad dialogue
Bad execution
MTV Editing
Girl unnecessarily gets naked
Wanton sex
Death associated with sex
Unfulfilled promise of nudity
Characters forget about threat
Secluded location
Power is cut
Phone lines are cut
Someone investigates a strange noise skull
Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door
Camera is the killer
Victims cower in front of a window/door
Victim locks self in with killer
Victim running from killer inexplicably falls
Toilet stall scene
Shower/bath scene
Car stalls or won't start
Cat jumps out
Fake scare
Laughable scare
Stupid discovery of corpse
Dream sequence
No one believes only witness skull
Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth
Warning goes unheeded
Music detracts from scene
Death in first five minutes skull
x years before/later skull
Flashback sequence
Dark and stormy night
Killer doesn't stay dead
Killer wears a mask
Killer is in closet
Killer is in car with victim
Villain is more sympathetic than heroes
Unscary villain/monster
Blood fountain
Blood spatters - camera, wall, etc.
Poor death effect
Excessive gore
No one dies at all
Virgin survives
Geek/Nerd survives
Little kid lamely survives
Dog/Pet miraculously survives
Unresolved subplots
"It was all a dream" ending
Unbelievably happy ending
Unbelievably crappy ending
What the hell?