The Sixth Sense Has Issues With Ghosts' Physical Interactions
Thanks to a decade of clumsy, self-indulgent films, it's hard to remember that M. Night Shyamalan used to be, like, the raddest director on the block, as all the hip kids called him. Back in 1999, he released The Sixth Sense, which not only kick-started his career but reinvigorated Bruce Willis' as well. And make no mistake, this is a really good movie. But it's not as tight a package as it seems.
First and foremost, the little kid Cole tells us that the dead don't know they're dead. This is important for two reasons: One, it makes us question a lot of how Bruce Willis interacts with the world, and two, it's blatantly untrue for every other ghost in the movie. But we'll start with Bruce. We see him at home, in a restaurant, and walking on the street. He is continuing to live his life outside of his interactions with the boy. So, like, how does he get into buildings?
Willis doesn't ghost through doors. He opens a bunch of them, and we even see the knob turn on his basement door. Does no one think strangely of doors mysteriously opening and closing all the time? We see Willis break a window midway through the movie, so he 100% interacts physically with the world. Did he never actually try to eat dinner all those times he came home late? Or even shake his wife's shoulder to wake her up? Even Cole's half-assed attempt at saying that ghosts see what they want to doesn't account for why everyone else isn't seeing the routine effects of this ghost on the world.