March 22, 2000
have the rare privilege of writing a positive review about a recent
movie. Obviously, Iím about year behind everyone else on this,
but "The Sixth Sense" was not only a damn good movie, itís
a scary horror film, which is even rarer still. I would say the
last horror film that was actually scary previous to this was "Aliens,"
and that was 14 years ago! There must be kids and young adults
that got scared in a movie theater for the very first time in their
lives seeing "The Sixth Sense."
I would like to discuss the story, anyone that hasnít seen the film
should stop reading right now. Iím very surprised that
no one ruined it for me in the year it took me to finally see the film,
but I was completely surprised and if you stop reading this and
go rent the movie right now, you will be, too.
that I really loved is after the insane ex-patient shoots him, his wife
runs to him and it fades out. When we next see Bruce Willis we
as human beings automatically say to ourselves, "Oh, I guess he
got better" and continue right on with the story. If heís
there talking to the kid, he must be OK now and it wasnít as bad a wound
as it looked.
now strikes me, is he walking around the entire movie with a huge bloody
wound on his back? They reveal at the end of the movie that it
looked like a clean entrance puncture and a terrible bloody wound on
his back, so I guess he should always be that way since everyone else
is as bloody as when they died.
watched the film on TV in my hotel room at the Bellagio Hotel &
Casino in Las Vegas. Within a few minutes
of the film ending I turned off the light and went to sleep. A
few minutes later I had to turn the light back on because I was scared,
and Iím 41 years old. It was sort of wonderful. I recall
doing exactly the same thing the night I saw "Carrie" for
the very first time in 1976óI was 18 years oldóand it scared me so badly
that I stayed up most of the night. Oddly, I think, the only other
film in my adulthood to keep me awake was "The Howling" in
my early youth, however, many movies scared me. I saw "Abbott
& Costello Meet Frankenstein" in the theater when I was seven
or eight and it scared the living piss out of me, particularly when
the Wolfman was running after Dracula, who went out the window and turned
into a bat, then the Wolfman went out the window and plummeted hundreds
of feet into a moat or something, but certainly to his death.
Jesus! It was so intense. I had no idea it was a comedy.
1968 at the age of ten, accompanied by my thirteen year old sister,
we were dropped off at the mall and we went and saw "Rosemaryís
Baby," which was rated M and neither one of us should have been
allowed in. That was a life-shaping experience for me. I
actually have the poster on the wall within three feet of my face at
this very moment.
it was wonderful to see a movie and get scared enough to turn the light
back on. And just sit there in this big hotel room thinking, "How
many people died in this room? Hotels are notorious for attracting
suicides. How about on this bed?"
kept running back through the scenes of the movie in my head to see
how I had been so utterly fooled. Every instance that I can think
of holds up, too. He comes running up to the car of the fellow
thatís messing around with his wife and the car just drives away, as
though the guy hadnít didnít hear him. And the scene in the restaurant
with his wife and her seemingly ignoring him and paying the billóbut
she doesnít even see him!
really great. Iím eager to see the film again and study the construction,
because as I watched it the first time I had absolutely no idea where
I was being taken and enjoyed every moment of the ride. There
were definitely times when I didnít quite know what was happening, but
I always felt like the storyteller knew where he was going.
never heard of this guy, M. Night Shmyalan, but he certainly did a terrific
job both writing and directing. Both Bruce Willis and Haly Joel
Osment are very good. The camerawork is sinuous, clear, and interesting.
No, it may not be a great movie, but itís succeeding with what itís
attempting, and thatís almost monumental these days.