The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense is a film written and directed by M. Night Shyama...lama...you know. The guy who did The Sixth Sense.&&(navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Trident') != -1||navigator.userAgent.indexOf('MSIE')

The First Sense, Sense II: My Two Sense, Sense III: The Resensening, Sense IV: Return of the Sense, and Sense V: Mission To Miami were all box-office flops.

What does Titanic have in common with The Sixth Sense? Icy dead people!

Just The Facts

  1. Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, also known as M. Night Shamamalamamalaman, M. Night Shyamalamadingdong, and The Sixth Sense Guy.
  2. It is his only film that does not suck.
  3. This is mainly because it came out before anyone had heard of M. Night Shyamalan, and so was not expecting the twist ending where one of the main characters turns out to be a superhero or a man in a suit or the Wicked Witch of the West or something.
  4. It launched the career of Haley Joel Osment, who till then had lived in the shadow of his siblings, Donny and Marie.
  5. Bruce Willis is in it, but he wears clothes and does not shoot anyone.
  6. Haley Joel Osment sees dead people. He sees Bruce Willis. But ssshhhhh.

Plot Synopsis

Bruce Willis plays Dr Malcolm Crowe, a top child psychologist. This is not implausible at all. He is celebrating winning yet another award for child psychological badassery, at home with his wife, when he finds Vincent Grey (Donnie Wahlberg) in his bathroom. Vincent, no longer a member of New Kids on the Block, has donned a pair of tighty-whiteys and broken into Bruce Willis's house. Not only has Vincent managed to cross town in the middle of winter wearing nothing but briefs, he has climbed in through a tiny broken window, landing in the broken glass, without cutting himself. He is therefore a threat. He explains that Bruce Willis failed to help him as a child, so shoots him and then himself.

Several months later, Bruce Willis is totally fine but a bit bored. He is sitting in a park when Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) runs past him. Being a middle-aged man sitting on a park bench in the middle of the day, Bruce Willis does what any of us would do and follows Cole. Cole never speaks louder than a whisper throughout the entire film, and is therefore unable to alert the authorities. Fearing a paedophile attack, Cole logically hides in a church.

Undeterred, Bruce Willis follows him in and talks to him for a bit. Despite being a church in a horror film, there are no zombies, hot girls, or penis-headed nurses that shoot spikes. This is a shame. Recognising that Cole is clearly nuttier than a pistachio scrotum full of Snickers, Bruce Willis resolves to help him, and proceeds to follow Cole about a lot, meeting him outside school and things but still managing to not arouse suspicion at all.

It's like one of those contests where the last person still touching the car gets to keep it.

This is where scary shit starts to take place. The first proper ghost seen by the audience is an abused housewife who slit her wrists to escape her violent husband. She is in the kitchen with her back turned, and Cole thinks she's his mother. But then she turns around, and she is actually a shrieking, battered stranger. I was fucking TWELVE when I saw this. I did not sleep again till I was nearly 15.

Several ghosts later, I followed the trail of my own urine back to where I was sitting, and saw the rest of the film. Mischa Barton from The OC appears to Cole. Being a pasty teenage zombie who throws up violently every time she eats, it's easy to see how she got cast in The OC. She's called Kyra in this.

Bruce Willis has now been told the famous "I see dead people" line, and has started to believe that Cole is telling the truth. This is because he listens to an old interview with Vincent when he was a child, and turns the volume up past 2 for the first time in 20 years, and hears a ghost on the tape. Vincent's problem was also that he could see dead people, by the way. This gives Bruce Willis the idea that maybe the ghosts are visiting Cole because they have unfinished business and need his help, so he tells Cole to help Kyra's ghost, and that might get rid of her. Cole does exactly this, and discovers that she was in fact murdered by her mother. Having solved Kyra's unfinished business, Cole is no longer haunted by her. This is crucial to the whole plot of the film, but you miss it the first couple of times because just before, Kyra hides under a bed and grabs Cole's foot when he walks past, and it was at this point that somebody snuck up behind me and put poo in my pants before escaping unseen.

Oh sure, it doesn't look scary at all now.

Now that Cole knows he just has to help the ghosts who follow him everywhere, he does so and delivers sentimental sobworthy messages to his mother. His self-confidence grows to the point that he actually speaks audibly and you can turn off the DVD subtitles. This is good- if I wanted something where everyone mumbles, I'd watch The Wire (which I don't). Bruce Willis goes home, and the twist happens. Charlton Heston discovers that Soylent Green is made from Orson Welles's sledge, and Fight Club was Earth all along.

The Twist

The twist is so good, I couldn't possibly tell you what it is. But it utterly destroys M. Night Shyamalan's other twist endings. It literally kidnaps them, drives them out to the woods, rapes and murders them, videotapes the whole thing and sends the tape to their parents. It is the twist ending equivalent of a boxing glove on a spring, launching out of your mother's face as she hands you a kitten. And the boxing glove is covered in rusty nails and broken glass and Aids-infected needles.

"Oh my God! Bruce Willis was a ghost all along!"