I believe that “The Sixth Sense” has the greatest twist in movie history. M. Night Shyamalan established himself as the king of plot twists with this film and the revolutionary twist has become the measuring stick for every shocking ending that has followed it. Hitchcockian in tone, this film manages to be a scary movie that has you on the edge of your seat without petrifying you. It is a film that can easily be watched by a family with teenagers and bridges the often wide gap between horror films and critically acclaimed films. The twist is fabulous but the acting, writing, and directing are what netted the film six Academy Award nominations. Even the best script will fail without good acting, and this powerhouse ensemble breathes life (or death) into this chilling story. Bruce Willis is fantastic. His character requires subtle, pensive mannerisms and every eye movement is refined to perfection. The critics were blown away by Haley Joel Osment, guaranteeing him stardom with an Oscar nomination at age 11. As the centerpiece of the story, his acting is the perfect amount of creepy for this make-or-break role. The casting team could not have found a more perfect boy to be the face of this film. Toni Collette and Donnie Wahlberg compliment the purposeful numbness of Willis and Osment with high-stakes emotional moments that drive the plot. The other source of genius in this film is the director. Shyamalan leaves clues all over the place but you only pick up on them second time around. Subtle things like the strategic (and sparse) use of red, costuming of Willis, and cleverly filmed moments of dialogue add another dimension to the film. “The Sixth Sense” isn’t the scariest ghost story ever told, but it reaches a lot deeper than jump scenes. The singular negative thing about this movie is that you only get to be shocked by the ending the first time, but it sure is fun to watch a first-timers jaw drop at the end!
[Pictured: This picture is worth a thousand words]