The Sixth Sense

Not every gift is a blessing
Not every gift is a blessing
D: M. Night Shyamalan
Buena Vista/Hollywood/Spyglass (Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy & Barry Mendel)
US 1999
107 mins


W: M. Night Shyamalan 
DP: Tak Fujimoto
Ed: Andrew Mondshein
Mus: James Newton Howard

Bruce Willis (Malcolm Crowe), Haley Joel Osment (Cole Sear), Toni Collette (Lynn Sear), Olivia Williams (Anna Crowe), Donnie Wahlberg (Vincent Gray), Mischa Barton (Kyra Collins)

Amongst the great horror movies of recent times. Bruce Willis stars as a child psychologist who investigates the case of a young boy who claims that he can see ghosts. 
Some elements of the story are rather obvious, but it's the telling of the story which makes this a special film, building atmosphere and tension with a great use of cinematography, editing and music. The performances are also incredibly good, particularly Haley Joel Osment with one of the all-time greatest juvenile performances in cinema history. Credit must also go to Toni Colette as the young boy's mother, perhaps even more so due to her character being so underwritten.
Though it's essentially a horror movie, it inclines towards interaction between the characters, smart dialogue and clever mis-en-scene to give it dramatic impact, rather than relying on clichéd scare tactics, gratuitous gore and high body counts.
The film became the sleeper hit of 1999 and one of the most successful films of all time. Unfortunately for writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, he couldn't quite reach the same heights following this, with each subsequent film becoming progressively worse.
Haley Joel Osment & Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense
Haley Joel Osment & Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense