M. Night Shyamalan Week: The Sixth Sense still first rate after 20 years


In 1999, a new voice emerges in Hollywood causing creative chaos. M. Night Shyamalan has arrived and film finds a new sense.

Hollywood Goes Ghost

It’s the late ’90s and film is about to change. Years since Quentin Tarantino ushered in a wave of new voices with Reservoir Dogs, Hollywood is littered with slasher knockoffs, derivative dramas and half-witted comedies. But when a Philadelphia filmmaker’s sense begin tingling, the movie landscape alters in huge ways. His name is M. Night Shyamalan and he using The Sixth Sense to do it.

— Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

Power of Premonition

Hitting cinemas Aug. 9, 1999, The Sixth Sense is as impactful today as it was almost 20 years ago. With powerhouse performances by Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment and Toni Collette, the movie is unlike any other. With heartfelt themes of love, loss and trying to find redemption in a world increasingly dim, its an experience you won’t likely shake. The film makes ghosts both scary and troubled beings, entities who long for help in righting their death’s wrongs.

Twist and Shout

More from Horror Movies

In what would become a trademark of its creator, The Sixth Sense is home to one of Hollywood’s greatest twists. Unless dying before 1999 and you’re reading this from beyond the grave, the ending is something you’re probably familiar with. It’s been parodied numerous times in the last two decades, which has sadly made the fabric of the ending unravel.

When watching the movie knowing the twist, it becomes clear that we’re being played by a genius filmmaker. When Cole first sees Malcolm, it’s fear thinking he’s just like the bad ghosts. This isn’t patient/doctor stuff but the kid still fearing the horrors of his power. It’s truly earth shattering to witness.

Ghost Dad

The Sixth Sense changed the life of then 27-year-old M. Night Shyamalan. Instantly, the filmmaker was being compared to icons like Stephen Spielberg and Alfred Hitchcock — and for good reason. His debut film is as good as any save for maybe Jaws and its success became truly unmatched. It became unbreakable…

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Fan of M. Night Shyamalan? Think The Sixth Sense still holds up? Let the other ghosts know what you think in the comment section below.