Culture Magazine

The Sixth Sense (1999)

By Newguy

logoDirector: M. Night Shyamalan

Writer: M. Night Shyamalan (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Trevor Morgan, Donnie Wahlberg


Plot: A boy who communicates with spirits that don’t know they’re dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: One of the Best


Story: The Sixth Sense starts with married couple Dr Malcolm Crowe (Willis) and Anna (Williams) having a celebration over Malcolm’s work in child psychology. Their night is interrupted by a deranged man Vincent Grey (Wahlberg) a former patient of Malcolm’s. Vincent believes he was failed by Malcolm before shooting Malcolm then himself.

One year has passed and Malcolm is looking into Cole Sear (Osment) a young boy who is very disturbed. Malcolm tries to connect with Cole whose parents have gone through a divorce leaving him with glasses with no glass in, and his wrists with cut marks on. With the connection set up he returns home to find his wife ignoring him.

Strange thinks happen at Cole’s house including draws and cabinets opening but his mom Lynn (Collette) is very confused, returning from home Malcolm is waiting with his mom and we start to learn more about the problems that Cole is facing. Cole continues to push Malcolm away not believing he can help him. We continue to watch Cole and Malcolm’s discussion and learn that what Cole wants most is to be able to not be scared anymore.

We see just how lonely and isolated Cole is without the ability to talk to anyone about his problems, we see an episode at a birthday party which leaves Cole seeing Doctors but not answers. This is until Cole drops the bomb we have been waiting for to Malcolm, Cole sees dead people. It is now we get to see the true horror of a day in the life of Cole with the ghosts that appear with their graphic deaths almost replaying on front of him. Malcolm needing to put his personal life first wants to pass Cole onto another doctor but after listening to the tapes he had with Vincent Grey he sees this as a chance to make up for his mistakes and help a frightened little boy who sees dead people. Malcolm comes up with the idea for Cole to actually communicate with these ghosts to find out if he could help them.

Once Cole discovers what he is capable of with his gift, we end up seeing the ending people have been talking about ever since it first came out and one that shocked the audience to a new level.

The Sixth Sense is a film that is now reaching its 16th birthday and amazingly still stands the test of time, granted it may well have been ruined because of how talked about the ending is but let’s look at this without the ending. We have a doctor helping a patient understand his gift and learning how to live with them on a daily basis. Add into the mix that his gift is seeing dead people meaning that he needs to learn to talk to them and in the end he is just a messenger for the dead to the living. If you had never seen this film you would be enjoying everything up to the ending, now with the ending we get the shock that makes you need to re-watch to actually see if it was true, even though the hints are there early on. This is got to go down as good story telling because we have to think about what is going on, on the screen and look out for think rather than be spoon feed the answers and given silly amounts of jump scares. This will always go down as one of the greatest horrors ever made. (10/10)


Actor Review


Bruce Willis: Dr Malcolm Crowe child psychologist who upon wanting to make up for one of his own failings with a patient helps young Cole. Malcolm also has to deal with the idea of becoming distant with his wife but Cole’s secret is the thing that will change Malcolm forever. Bruce gives a great performance that for what he need was very calm and relaxed perfectly fitting the character. (9/10)



Haley Joel Osment: Cole Sear a young boy who is very troubled, he is lonely in the world and doesn’t want to communicate with anyone in it, After he spills the lines ‘I see dead people’ we learn what is really troubling him and that is having ghosts visit him. Cole has to learn why they are visiting him and help them send their final message. Haley gives the performance of his career here and rightly deserved his Oscar nomination. (10/10)



Support Cast: The Sixth Sense has a small supporting cast but compared to the interactions between Cole and Malcolm they are just there to add mystery to the story.


Director Review: M. Night Shyamalan – M. Night got his only Oscar nomination for this film and it is clear to see why, this is always going to be his masterpiece and he shows that he can both tell a story and honor the genre he was directing in. (10/10)


Mystery: The Sixth Sense as I expect everyone to know the basic idea of the film, if you didn’t this would be very interesting mystery to look into. (9/10)

Thriller: The Sixth Sense really does keep you guessing with all of the tension built up throughout the film. (10/10)

Settings: The Sixth Sense each setting tells a slightly different side story be it the marriage problems or the ghosts that visit Cole, they all help to make the film natural to the audience. (10/10)
Special Effects
: The Sixth Sense doesn’t rely on its effects but when it needs to use them for the ghosts it works very well indeed. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Sixth Sense is really one that has to be watch by all, it really is something you will only see once with its style and shock. (Watch)


Best Part: It is hard not to pick the twist ending but I like the first encounter with an unknown ghost.

Worst Part: The ending has been spoken about so many times, it ruins the surprise in the film.

Oh My God Moment: The twist.

Scariest Scene: The locked room as we just don’t know what happened in there.

Favourite Quote: Cole ‘I see dead people’


Believability: (/10)

Chances of Tears: (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Nominated for 6 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Film Editing.

Box Office: $673 Million

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: Discover the secret of ‘The Sixth Sense’!

Trivia: Haley Joel Osment got the role of Cole Sear for one of three reasons: First, he was best for it. Second, he was the only boy at auditions who wore a tie. Third, M. Night Shyamalan was surprised when he asked Haley Joel Osment if he read his part. Osment replied, “I read it three times last night.” Shyamalan was impressed saying, “Wow, you read your part three times?” To which Osment replied, “No, I read *the script* three times.”


Overall: When it comes to this genre we usually end up getting basic storylines with cheap scares, we got something that will always go down in the film history as one of the bet here.



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