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'I see dead people.' A line from a film that everybody has heard. And quite possibly uttered at some point. This is a brilliant film which at the time people had no idea of the twist ending. It is a brilliantly written and directed film which brought out the best in it's lead actors Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment. The film sent the latter into stardom the likes of which many dream of.
The film revolves around Dr. Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist played by Bruce Wllis, and nine year old Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment). One night after returning home with his wife, Dr. Crowe is confronted by a former patient that he treated as a child, Vincent Grey. He proclaims that he knows why people are afraid when they are alone. He shoots Dr. Crowe in the stomach before he turns the gun on himself.
Fast forward a year and Dr. Malcolm Crowe is working with a new patient, Cole Sear. Cole suffers from the same problem that haunted Vincent Grey. This leads Dr. Crowe into doubting his ability to be able to help the child properly. At first Dr. Crowe thinks that Cole is delusional and contemplates placing him a series of drugs in order to stop his hallucinations. Cole has kept a secret from everybody that he knows. Until one night in hospital he confides in Dr. Crowe. 'I see dead people.' The immortal line is uttered. He explains that he sees them everywhere just like the living, only they don't know that they are dead.
Meanwhile Dr. Crowe's personal life has fallen to pieces. His wife ignores him and leaves him feeling completely isolated. Unaware of how to fix things with his wife he focuses more and more on helping his new patient.
Dr. Crowe suggests to Cole that instead of running away from the ghosts that he sees he confront them, and try talking to them. Maybe he sees them for a reason. To help them pass over into the afterlife. And that through Cole the ghosts may try communicate with those that they loved. He helps one ghost pass over by giving her belongings to her father at her wake. This sets the ball rolling in a new direction for the young boy. As his life starts to turn around he decides that it is time to allow his mother know his secret. But he first gives Dr. Crowe some advice on how to fix things with his wife. Suggesting that he should talk to her and tell her how much he loves her whilst she is asleep. That way she will hear everything and know that he loves her.
Dr. Crowe returns home to find his wife on the settee asleep watching a video of their wedding. He whispers into her ear taking the advice of Cole. He tells her that he loves her. This is where the classic twist ending is revealed. She drops his wedding ring which he hasn't been wearing. He suddenly remembers what Cole said about ghosts, that they don't know they are dead. He had been dead the whole time throughout the entire film.
Hate to have to give away the ending for those who haven't seen it but I am sure that most people already knew about the big twist ending. This is a classic film, and a must see for everybody. I can't recommend it enough. I know my review won't really do it justice. So I recommend that you sit down and watch it.
I am a huge fan of thrillers. I don't do gore very well, but I love a good on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller that makes you jump throughout with shrill violins in the background. I've also never seen sixth sense, as I was too young to see it when it first came out and when there was so much hype surrounding it. I just never got round to watching it. My dad was raving about it recently, so I decided to give it a go!
The film revolves around Dr Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist who receives a visit from an unhappy, ex-patient, on the same night that he receives an award for his work and accomplishments. Following this visit, Dr Crowe takes on another patient, a young boy, Cole. Cole has the same kind of problems as this ex patient who paid an unexpected visit. Dr Crowe begins to spend a lot of time with the young lad, who he soon begins to get through to. Cole was difficult to talk to at first, and had little trust for Dr Crowe. Also, he is very alienated from people, even his mother. He is distant from her and she struggles to understand him. He is picked on at school, and is often called a freak. Cole is burdened with a sixth sense which no-one but him seems to have. He can see dead people, who don't know that they're dead.
This film is very good, Haley Joel Osment, who plays Cole is a great actor. He is able to bring a confused innocence to the character of Cole, but all time time, remains very eerie. I really liked the development of Cole through the film. After firstly being pegged as delusional, Cole begins to attempt to finish the ghost's unfinished business on earth, encouraged by Dr Crowe. One particularly moving incident, is after the death of a young girl, he shows her father how she died.
This film is quite an old film, having been released in 1999, but I think it's one of those which will stay timeless. The film lasts for 107 minutes, which is a good length. If it was longer, it would have been drawn out. The actual film is concise, it keeps you interested throughout. I think the main issue that would make or break this film for you, is your own personal belief about the realms of possibility for "ghosts". If you have an absolute mindset of "ghosts don't exist.", I think maybe you would struggle to get into this film. Personally, I'm going to maintain my nice comfortable position on the fence! A part of me wants to take the former approach, but one of my mum's friends is very spiritual. She's not "in your face" about it, but things my mum has said have quite intrigued me to think about what may be possible... Anyway, I digress.
One thing that really surprised me through this film, was the acting of Bruce Willis. I've never been a massive fan of him, mainly because I think I've only ever seen him in Die Hard, where he does the whole "tough guy" thing. His character in this film is completely different. He is softly spoken and really seems to 'get' his patients. He has a gentle side that gets through their vulnerability and really wins their trust. Having only seen him running around shooting people before, playing a caring character really stood out to me.
I'm torn with the ending. You know it's a good film, when the ending leaves you saying "Wow, I did NOT expect that!" However, nearing the end of the film, there is an emotional scene with Cole and his mum, where after so long of not communicating adequately with each other, Cole begins to be able to confide in his mum and his mum begins to trust him. Although on one hand, it was very emotional; I couldn't help but feel it was slightly... contrived. I found this scene didn't really sit well with the rest of the story, in particular, as Cole is such a young child, I found the line "I'm ready to communicate with you now" to his mum, I found it very odd.
The music score was pretty good throughout; although I do feel that a bit more drama within the score could have really added an element of surprise. Even if we're not going to say, the stereotypical violin screeching; but maybe something more eerie in the wind section. But maybe that's just me preferring films that terrify me and have me on the edge of the seat with suspense!
Overall, I thought this was a great film. I'm going to say 4 stars, as it was very cleverly made; and Bruce Willis really appealed to me in this film, showing how well he plays a 'deeper' character than running around shooting terrorists. I wouldn't stretch as far as 5 stars; as I expected it to be more tense than it was. I don't think I would ever bother with it again, but it was definitely worth the watch.
RELEASED: 1999, Cert. 15
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 107 mins
DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: M Night Shyamalan
PRODUCERS: Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall & Barry Mendel
MUSIC: James Newton Howard
Bruce Willis as Dr. Malcolm Crow
Haley Joel Osment as Cole Sear
Toni Collette as Lynn Sear
Olivia Williams as Anna Crowe
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Despite being a noted and successful child psychologist, Malcolm Crowe has a cross to bear in that some years previously, he was unable to help one of his patients. He is reminded of this when he and the now adult patient come face to face.
In almost 'lamb-silencing' mode, Malcolm, who is experiencing some marital problems due to his work causing an ever increasing rift between he and Anna, his wife, gets deeply involved with helping a young boy (Cole Sear) who shows very similar symptoms to the ex-patient he (Malcolm) feels he had once let down.
Cole's mother, Lynn, is trying desperately to understand her son and make allowances for his strange behaviour, but each time she loses her patience, it alienates Cole from her even more.
Cole is an unhappy little boy who is viewed as 'odd' at school, and bullied. As he gradually begins to trust Malcolm through the therapy sessions, Cole reveals that he can see dead people....dead people who don't know they are dead.
That basically sets the scene, and of course you must watch it yourself to learn more.
When The Sixth Sense was first released as a film, I heard a lot of positive and glowing opinions from people I knew who'd seen it. It has been only recently that I've got around to watching it for myself, and remembering the film being highly praised, I was expecting something rather special.
I found the first quarter or so of the The Sixth Sense very good. There is a depressive atmosphere which is put across quite convincingly, and I was intrigued to know where Cole, the little boy, was coming from and what, if anything, Malcolm his therapist could draw out of him.
Once certain things came to light and were revealed, I felt that the storyline was going down a path that although I can't say I was uncomfortable with it, I'd have preferred it to be a little more grounded. Present in the film is something which could be regarded as supernatural, but anybody's interpretation of that label would depend on their own individual sense of perception and maybe even the beliefs that they do or don't hold. I'd like to explain what I mean in far greater detail, but to do so would veer away from this being a review, and travel down the route of me analysing the issue of human psychology and the capabilities of the human mind versus the paranormal.
What impressed me most of all about The Sixth Sense was the acting. Both Bruce Willis as Malcolm Crowe, the softly spoken, gentle-natured child psychologist and Haley Joel Osment as Cole Sear, the troubled little boy, were utterly wonderful. I loved Bruce's calm, reassuring demeanour, and Haley Joel Osment was such a beautiful little child...wide-eyed, fearful, withdrawn, sad, and extremely cute. Bruce Willis did surprise me somewhat, because although I've not seen many films in which he stars, in the couple I have, he has played completely different types of role that require the projection of a tough-man image. In The Sixth Sense, he is exactly the opposite.
The music to The Sixth Sense for me was largely unnoticeable, although I did have a slight and occasional awareness of something gently orchestral, and a bit of quiet solo piano seeped into my auditory consciousness now and again. Those orchestrated parts that I did fleetingly notice were perhaps a little too sugary for my own personal tastes, and I would have preferred something a bit more dramatic, but in a laid-back way.
One strange syndrome I experienced whilst watching The Sixth Sense was that here and there, I got the feeling I was viewing something which was made for young people - maybe even children (over a certain age). Although the subject matter of the film is desperately serious and there are a couple of scenes which may scare some people (although they didn't affect me in that way), I got too much of a sense of sugary lightness at what I feel were inappropriate moments. This had nothing to do with the excellent acting....it was how overall the film was directed, produced and presented.
There is a big twist in The Sixth Sense which I sort of saw coming, but wasn't quite sure which of the three options I had in my head, and it did turn out to be one of them - hence, that aspect from the film for me was maybe a bit too predictable.
I really liked the setting (in Philadelphia) and felt that certain things were handled well, such as Cole and his mother Lynn's domestic setup and lifestyle, plus some of the street scenes showed an architectural colonial style that I find very pleasing, but such as a visual aspect didn't quite compensate for some of the film - especially towards the end - being sentimental to a degree that I wasn't comfortable with.
I'm not sure if The Sixth Sense is a film that I'd eagerly dive into for a second viewing, simply because I now know how it all pans out, and despite the first class acting, there wasn't enough else within the proceedings to grip me tightly, making it so that I'd not be able to wait for second helpings. However, the topic of the storyline is an interesting one, but perhaps it could have been handled and presented - brilliant acting aside - a little differently, so as to give the film some more punch and power, in a quiet way.
All in all, and despite some of my misgivings mentioned above, The Sixth Sense is a very good and atmospheric film which is beautifully acted, and I'm not sorry I watched it - just that I don't feel it is the sort of film that would warrant a second viewing, and I'd have preferred the sentimental content to be replaced with something less sugary.
I'm not quite sure how many stars to award The Sixth Sense, because the good parts are excellent, yet the not so good parts did leave me rather dissatisfied, but I think I'll opt for almost, but not quite a full house. Had the acting not been so amazingly good, I probably would award a mere three.
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Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
The story started with the violent behavior of Vincent, a psychiatric patient that Dr. Crowe handled before. Unexpectedly visits the house of Dr. Crowe, troubled Vincent is blaming the doctor for failing to give him the treatment he was expecting. Suffering from severe depression and extreme disappointment, he shot Dr. Crowe in front of his wife Collete. Then here comes his new patient, Cole Sear, just like Vincent, Cole was an extra ordinary child suffering from visual hallucination. At first Cole is reluctant to open up his secrets to Dr. Crowe but then with his eagerness and persistence to help Cole, he was able to win the trust of the child and started to reveal himself to him.
I really don't have that idea how would the story goes on the first time I saw this movie. I thought, it would be just like most movies I have seen that it presents the story and narrates events and then come up with either happy or sad ending. But in this film, I somehow got surprise with how the story ends. I was twisted somehow. After seeing the movie, I'm still in thinking why the story ended that way. That question ended me up seeing this movie again.
I admire how Director M. Night Shyamalan's creativity of presenting the story on different style makes "The Sixth Sense" to be his unforgettable masterpiece.
Starred by action superstar, Bruce Willis known for his tough character in his previous movies such as "Die Hard", "Tears of the Sun", etc., but you will see a different, softer character of Bruce Willis in this time. I admire his versatility as an actor because he was able to deliver his role convincingly. This is also commence a big break for Haley Joel Osment who played the character of "Cole Sear" in this movie in which after this film, he was given a leading role in Steven Spielberg film "A.I." in 2001.
Summing up, for me, Sixth Sense is one of the unforgettable thriller of all time. The story was presented in an exciting and intensifying way. The ending will definitely give the viewer something to talk about. The visual effects are heart-pounding and make you scream for the thrill. Don't miss this movie.
Bruce Willis as Dr. Malcom Crowe, a child psychologist
Haley Joel Osment as Cole Sear, a troubled child with extra ordinary ability of seeing dead people
Donnie Wahlberg - Vincent Gray, a patient of Dr. Crowe
Toni Collette - as Lynn Sear, the ever supporting mother of Cole
Olivia Williams - as Anna Crowe, the wife of Dr. Crowe
Sixth sense, is a landmark film. When it was first released it hit the headlines because of (10 yr old ) Haley Joel Osment whose critically acclaimed performance outshone Bruce Willis.
This supsense thriller is really about the young boy (haley joel) and the part played by Bruce Willis, and the dynamics and interactions.
On a deeper level it is about BELIEF, the supernatural, and appeals to our "wanting to belive-in the other-side" ghosts and so on.
The Director M night cleverly uses the colour red throughout the film, to show how the physical and the spiritual worlds come into contact with each other!
For me what really raises this particular film above its peers, is how tightly it is directed, performed (from both its leading actors) and the fact that you actually care about the characters particularly towards the end.
I will not allow myself to spoil it for anyone, but sufficit it to say, the ending in "The sixth sense" is possible one of the most dramatic, and nerve shredding in modern cinema history.
The score throughout the piece is perfectly in keeping with the drama, and tension that oh-so cleverly builds and when you expect it to come to a crushendo it peters out, and blurts its ugly head with out warning!
It still remains in my top ten movies of all time!
Whilst I largely consider M Night Shyamalan to be a spectacularly mediocre hollywood hack with an overinflated ego and a habit of making the same "What on earth is goiing on? .....ooh there's a twist!" film over and over again (Signs, The Village, The Happening), his 1999 film The Sixth Sense is actually pretty good. The film concerns the relationship between a young boy (played by Haley Joel Osment) who claims to see the ghosts of dead people all around him and a child psychologist played by Bruce Willis.
Osment is an excellent child actor and puts in a great turn here, whilst for his part Willis is as convincing as he's been since Twelve Monkeys, creating semi-tragic air as in the aformentioned Terry Gilliam film, and the film is directed in a quirky and engaging manner that somehow seems much less pretentious than Shyamalan's subsequent efforts, even if in Sixth Sense Shyamalan does steal the directorial device of employing stark reds from Speilberg who used it first in Schindler's List.
There are some decidely eerie scenes on offer, when Osment sees the dangling bodies of hanged puritans at school and a dazed (and indeed dead) femal cyclist walking around outside the car he is in after getting knocked over and killed, and the scenes in which osment fearfully conveys the messages of the dead to those around him are convincing, as indeed is the tortured existence the child actor strikes to convey.
Sixth Sense does have a great big twist at the end of course, meaning that its difficult to discuss the film in great detail, but suffice to say this twist is far less likley to have you rolling your eyes with a mixture of incredulity and frustration than his increasingly forumulaic and regurgitated later efforts. A decent psychological horror, that's well worth a watch.
This movie is a fantastic drama movie with a fantastic twist. The sixth sense is a movie about a child psychologist, who after being shot in his home by a unhappy former patient of his, tried to help another young boy who says that he can see ghosts.
The whole movie is mainly focused on these two characters, the psychologist played brilliantly by Bruce Willis, who takes on a more low key roles on this film rather than some of his more action packed films, however he does also fit this role brilliantly. The young boy is played very well also by Haley Joel Osment.
As well as focusing on this, we also see the marriage of the psychologist breaking down as he becomes too carried up in his work and lets it get to him. The story is fantastic though and really well shot, the lighting with the ghosts is toned down and draining and you feel as if they really are there. The music throughout adds drama to each and every scene and you cant help but be intrigued in the story of what's gong on, and although the movie is slow paced at times, it suits it and you never feel bored with the film or want it to speed up.
The best bit about this movie thought has to be incredible twist at the end, I have seen this movie more than once now, so every time I watch it I do know what's coming but I can remember watching this for the first time and just being blown away at the end, just didn't see this one coming at all, fantastic film.
This is a fantastic drama/thriller that was released in 1999 by writer/director M. Night Shyamaian who at the time was just 29 years or age. The movie itself is very good and has some great twists to keep you interested and guessing what's going to happen.
A year after being shot in his home by a former patient, child psychologist Malcolm Crowe played by Bruce Willis attempts to understand what's wrong with a troubled young boy, Cole played by Haley Joel Osment. He claims he can see dead people and ghosts of those individuals that have matters unresolved before they died and need closure.
He says that they visit him looking for some sort of resolution to their problem and to stop them forever being in limbo rather than their souls laid to rest peacefully. While he is trying to help this boy, Malcom's own life is in chaos. His marriage to his wife has become cold and distant as they have grown apart.
This is one of the best ghost stories that I have seen and works very well as there are tormented souls that visit Cole looking for answers, but there is also an emotional side to this drama and it's not all about being scare or keeping you in suspense. There is a lot of focus on the relationship between Cole and Malcolm and Malcolm and his wife, and also on Cole and his mother who doesn't believe the stories he is telling.
Hayley Joel Osment is great in is role as Cole because he plays it just right and is not too cute but keeps us with the right amount of suspense needed.
The way the film is directed makes it very chilling and is expertly put together. The director uses subtle colours and drops in temperature when a ghost is present and puts in some interesting twists near the end that you won't expect if you've never seen it. A modern day supernatural drama that is well worth watching.
The Sixth Sense is a thriller from 1999 written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. He was the director of Praying With Anger, Wide Awake, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, etc. He is well known about the twist endings of his films. He achieved 6 nominations for The Sixth Sense. The classification of the film is 15 years and over. The running time is 110 minutes. The film was released on 6th August 1999.
Bruce Willis - Dr. Malcolm Crowe (child psychologist)
Haley Joel Osment - Cole Sear (troubled, isolated boy)
Olivia Williams - Anna Crowe (Dr. Crowe's wife)
Toni Collette - Lynn Sear (Cole's mother)
Donnie Wahlberg - Vincent Grey (former patient of Dr. Crowe)
The film starts when Dr. Malcolm Crowe and his wife Anna arrive home from an event where Dr. Crowe was honoured for his efforts with troubled children. Anna goes downstairs to bring up a glass of wine when she has the idea that they are not alone in the house. She hurries upstairs and realizes that a window is broken. They soon find a young undressed man in their bathroom. From the conversation we realise that it is a former patient of Dr. Crowe who couldn't escape from his fear. The young man is called Vincent Gray. He shoots Dr. Crowe in the stomach then turns the gun to his own head. We can hear the shoot and see the fading Crowe with his wife by his side.
Then after a cut we see Crowe sitting on a bench and waiting. There is a label saying Next fall. Dr. Crowe is waiting for Cole who is a strange behaving, isolated nine year-old boy. He follows the boy to the church. He is very dedicated to help Cole who has similar symptoms like Vincent had. After a few meetings Cole starts to trust Dr. Crowe and tells him his secret that he sees dead people who talk to him.
While Dr. Crowe is fully involved in Cole's problem he finds that his marriage is falling apart. Can he help Cole or will fail it again? What happens to Anna?
This was a great film I'm still thinking about. It had a brilliant twist in the end which put everything sense. I can hardly write about it without spoiling the end of this film.
The actors were brilliant in their role and I really enjoyed their outstanding performance. I completely understand their nomination for award. I cannot imagine anyone else in the leading roles but these actors. It was a fantastic film. There were scary plots in it I have to admit but there were tear jerker and touching plots as well. I loved this film and from a long time now I think this is a film which is a must see.
I loved the performance of Bruce Willis. This time he was calm and very passionate about his job. He hardly believed in himself to solve the case of Cole but never gave up.
I think Haley Joel Osment is a talented young actor. He was absolutely believable. It must have been very scary for him shooting some of the scenes. I loved when he confessed his mother his secret and talking about his grandmother. It was very touching.
The soundtrack of the film was a perfect match too. I liked the following songs: I fall in love too easily (Chet Baker), Crazy Girl (Jamie Dunlap and Scott Nickoley) and Space Cocktail (Laurent Lombard).
It was a great film which makes sense for the second watch as well. I recommend everyone who hasn't seen it yet and for those who saw it a few years ago. I'm glad we have it on DVD so I can rewatch it again. I will certainly do.
EDITED: to take out spoilers as requested :)
As most people would by now know this is one of those films that after you first watch it you then have to watch again to see the things you missed. This film has to have the best twist I have ever seen in any film and it is so cleverly put together that you don't even realise until the very end. So when you watch it again you actually see how it works.
It tells the story of a little boy Cole who is a troubled loner who can see and talk to the dead. The other lead role is Dr. Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist (Bruce Willis) who also has some problems of his own but how he tries to help Cole. Crowe gains Coles trust and evertually is ready to tell him his secret. The famous saying 'I see dead people, they walk around like regular people' was born. Of course Crowe doesnt believe him at first but then he sees the same traits that a previous patient has and watches back the tapes and it all becomes clear.
He then decides that maybe Cole can use his gift to help the dead that are stuck on earth for a reason. Cole doesnt want to at first because he is petrified of these ghosts. Some look terrifying I must admit. Cole then agrees and he first helps a little ghost girl that appears and he finds out where she lives. Crowe and Cole turn up to her funeral at her home and present her father with a videotape that the girl has given Cole. The video shows that the bedridden girl was slowly being poisoned by her mother.
He then decides to let his mother know about his gift and at first she doesnt believe him until he proves it by saying things about his nan that he wouldnt have known. He tells his mother that the crash up ahead has had someone die and when asked how he knows, he tells her the ghost is at his window.
Cole then tries to help Crowe with his marraige problems, and crowe goes home to find his wife on the couch asleep. This is where the twist comes in which I have now edited out of my review.
A great film to watch when you dont know what the twist ending is but then it is spoilt by knowing the second time. It is still a great film to watch again having said that, the Cole character is such a good little actor.
The Sixth Sense is a great movie that should not be missed.
Well if you like to be scared, this film is for you! I have seen this so many times and everytime I do it makes want to hide behind a cushion! This is a great film.
The Sixth Sense came out ten years ago back in 1999. The film was nominated for a massive six Oscars and won lots of other awards and get loads of nominations. The film stars Bruce Willis and the brilliant Haley Joel Osment.
The film tells the story of a young boy who is a bit of a social outcast. He is a little bit strange to say the least and is having trouble fitting in. But this is the least of his problems, Cole can see dead people! The stroy tells how a child psychologist tries to help Cole with his problems and sort out his little issue!
This film is brilliant. The performance by Osment is second to none. Forr a boy of only 9 he plays a wonderful role. First time I watched this I was captivated by this little boy who had everyone on the edge of their seats. Some of the one liners are so powerful and full of emotion.
The film is wonderfully filmed, the mood is so dark and brooding, everything about this film smacks of suspense. For the entire film you are wondering what is round the next corner.
The story really gets your emotions involved as well. You start to live the story along with the characters. The music is very good in this film as well and really adds to the mood.
One of the best things about this film is its ability to surprise you. There are loads of twists and turns that really keep you guessing. Its a very clever story and one that makes you think.
The film runs for 107 minutes which is just about perfect. The film moves at a really fast pace and it constantly grips your attention.
The film is rated as 15. There is some strong language and some quite chilling scenes so its easy to see why it has this rating. Its not one to watch if you are easily offended.
The DVD itself is just what you would expect. It has a few extras but nothing to special, things like trailers etc... Nothing that would really make you want to buy the DVD, buy it for the film itself.
Overall this is a brilliant film. It is a near perfect scary movie that grabs your attention and does everything it should do. If you have never seen this film, you must go and get a copy as soon as possible. But make sure you get yourself a cushion to hide behind!!
* PLEASE NOTE. THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS, AS IT IS A REVIEW OF HOW GOOD-A JOB THE DIRECTOR DID, AND NOT OF THE FILM ITSELF. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM, THIS WILL RUIN IT FOR YOU.
The Sixth Sense
"How does the director make the audience believe that DR Crow is alive throughout the duration of The Sixth Sense?
Throughout the duration of The Sixth Sense, we, as spectators of the film are manipulated into presuming that Dr Crow, who is a child's psychologist is alive right the way through, until the very end, and it is in fact, brought to our attention that he is dead; and has been the whole time as he was shot very early in the beginning of the film, by a former patient he was unsuccessful in treating.
The director, M. Night Shayamalan is able to portray Dr Crow is alive in a variety of ways: using a series of camera shots, colour, clothing and costume, emotions, specific actions and stage directions, as well as an assortment of hidden-meanings, in which spectators do not register or acknowledge in their minds when they first watch the film.
One of the first ways that the director makes us believe Dr Crow is alive and well is in the scene straight after he is shot. The scene begins with an autumn setting and a long shot over the street where the scene takes place. White writing then appears onto the screen as the camera zooms in and down the street to where a man is sitting alone on a bench. The writing is significant to the film, as it says "the next fall"; this is actually inconsequential to the viewer, as spectators are not particularly bothered about the time of year, as they are more concerned with finding out if Dr Crow survived his shotgun wound from the scene. However, spectators automatically feel he is alive and well, as "the next fall" makes them subconsciously think that because it is "The Next Fall", that he has survived, and has had time to recuperate.
Secondly, the spectators are introduced to Cole, a young boy that can "see dead people", and so sees Crow; therefore he doesn't question that Crow is dead. Cole is an effective tool used in The Sixth Sense as his "gift" of being able to see and communicate with the dead makes us believe that Crow is alive, especially as Cole does not give away his secret to any other character, (and for that reason the spectators), until the later middle of the film, when he tells Dr Crow he "sees dead people". This creates the impression that Dr Crow is alive, and that Cole's revelation is that of a child telling a secret to his psychologist, this is further believable, as Dr Crow clearly does not ask Cole if he is dead, and Cole does not choose this point to tell or even hint that Crow may be deceased.
In the same scene, the camera cuts to Crow again, after lingering over Cole walking off-camera. Crow is reading patient notes; yet again, disguising he is in fact dead for quite a few reasons, the first-that the spectators have a subconscious overview of a ghost (if that is in fact what Dr Crow is supposed to be in The Sixth Sense). This being that ghosts are transparent, and therefore cannot hold or touch anything; yet Crow is holding and reading patient notes, as well as sitting on a bench. The second, that he appears to be familiar with Cole and his problems, as he says to Cole "I'm sorry I missed our appointment", thus making spectators assume that he has had precious contact with Cole, and other people in the film, such as his parents, who we assume bring him to see Dr Crow in the first place.
Moreover, the clothing that Dr Crow fashions the whole time during the film is always 'appropriate', formulating to spectators that Crow his alive: examples of this being when he is outside. Crow always wears a long over-coat, which is 'appropriate' attire for the season as it is "fall", and for that reason cooler outside so any person would be wearing warmer clothes. Another example is later on in the film, when Cole and Crow are at a funeral; Crow wears a black suit and tie-typical apparel for a funeral, making him seem to blend in, as no-one would question why he and Cole were there, as he seems to intermingle with the other mourners in the scene. This is an example of Denotation; making Crow appear ordinary, and mundane.
Following the second scene, Cole is found by Crow in a church, playing with figurines. Cole seems to recognise him, apparent to the audience that he has meat him before. Crow then goes on to apologise to Cole for missing their "appointment" and that he is "sorry". This reveals to spectators that he works with Cole, perhaps frequently; as a professional psychologist like Crow, would not miss a first appointment with a new patient, and for that reason, he is familiar with Cole, and vice versa. This offers the initiative that Crow is alive at this point in the film, as he can interact with people-taking into account that the spectators would not, at this point know that Cole "sees dead people", as well as offer his services to patients-(which we assume is plural).
Next in this scene, Cole leaves the church, whilst stealing a religious figurine, which may come across as comical at the specific moment in the film, although as the film progresses, we learn that Cole uses these figures to protect him from the dead people that seek him out, and fill him with fear. This formulates another basis that Crow is alive, as not only does Cole seem to trust Dr Crow, but whilst he is afraid of the other members of the dead he communicates with, Cole never portrays he is afraid of Cole. Reinforcement to this is that Cole never keeps his figurines with him when he meets Dr Crow.
Subsequently, we then see Dr Crow seated in a house with a woman, who is Cole's mother-not we do not see him first enter the house, as she would not have opened the door, or answered it when he knocked, evidently giving Crow away. The scene opens with a medium shot with Cole's mother sat facing Dr Crow; assumedly they are in discussion, as they seem to be facing each other.
However, Cole's mother then goes on to stare into space, suggesting they have had a discussion-presumably about Cole, and she is reflecting on Crow's diagnosis, or updates on her son. Spectators are also made to feel as they have just walked in on an important conversation, as they appear to have been talking, even if they are no longer. Cole's mother appears anxious, as though Dr Crow has identified further problems with Cole; understandably, the two are in silence, and look as if they are waiting for Cole to continue their chat. When Cole walks in late, his mother rushes to meet him at the doorway, but not before the camera picks up on a brief glance form Cole to Crow, showing us that his acknowledgment of the Dr. Cole's mother continues to talk to Cole, asking him about his "day", in a way that makes Crow "sit back and smile", demonstrating he i observing their relationship, like a psychologist would. T
he camera then cuts to a medium close up of Cole and his mother, where she is kneeling down to his height, so as not to be intimidating when talking to her son. Cole's mother also results in speaking quietly to him, as if she is preparing him for his discussion with Crow. The camera then cuts back to a medium shot of the whole room, as she walks from Cole, and towards a door leading off-scene. At this point, Dr Crow seems to look up at her from the couch where he is sitting, and she appears to glance towards him before she walks off-scene, and out of shot saying "you got an hour". Because his mother never addresses anybody in particular-or what for, we as spectators assume she is talking to Crow, telling him that he has an hour long session with Cole. It is at this point that Crow and Cole have a psychiatric session together, adding to the effectiveness of the scene, as it proves that the sub-conscious or presupposed session those spectators will have been expecting.
This scene is used in the end of the film in a flashback from Crow, when he begins to realise he is dead, only this time we see the camera from Cole's mother's eyes therefore, eliminating Crow from the scene.
Consistently through the film, Crow is shown working in his office, yet again convincing us that he is the same work-committed man as he was before he was shot. This is skilful; as we never actually see Crow enter this room in the film, for the reason that Anna, Crow's widow, blocked off the entrance with a table after her died, although we don't see this until the end of The Sixth Sense, when we see the house through Anna's eyes until the end of the film, as Dr Crow would not have been able to get in because it was sealed off.
Further on in The Sixth Sense, we see Crow enter a restaurant, appearing he is meeting Anna, and he is late, regarding the fact that she is already seated, and drinking wine. The scene commences with a Long Shot (LS), to offer a distanced restaurant background, with Anna, dressed in a red dress, with her head down on the table for two she is at, at the centre of the shot. The camera gradually zooms in on the table and Anna, as we see Dr Crow walk in swiftly, and apologise instantly. At this point, the spectators automatically assume that Anna is upset and discontented with waiting for her husband; compared to the bleak contrast that she is in fact, dining on her own as Crow is dead.
The mise-en-scene at this point is a typical restaurant atmosphere; relaxed and intimate, with muffled chatter, it is also important to incorporate waiters and waitresses in the scene, to make it look authentic to spectators.
When the camera establishes an Over the Shoulders Shot, behind Anna and focusing towards Crow, it seems to the audience that she is looking directly at Crow; meaning that she can see him. This Shot is effective, as we do not see any emotions from Anna, as we don't see her face at this point. This enables the director to avoid the spectators seeing Anna's empty stare, as she would be looking through Crow. Dr Crow then continues to engage with his wife, by using humour as an escape mechanism; as he is late-and does not want her to be angry with him. "I thought you meant the other Italian restaurant I asked you to marry me in" conveys a hint of humour, but also becomes significant, as she has clearly gone back to the restaurant to remember and mourn her husband, but to spectators it seems as if they were just going to enjoy a meal together. When Anna does not respond, both the spectators and Crow assume she is angry, mouthing the word "ok", he seats himself on a chair, which has been left out, as no one was sitting on it. This seems to spectators as if he is registering the fact he has annoyed her by turning up late.
Dr Crow then goes on to blame his punctuality on his work, as he "had a bad session today", Anna, noticeably still disregards this as before Crow was shot, she accused her husband of putting work before her; and would therefore be annoyed that he has continued to do so-hence the continued silence and tension. Crow then shakes his head and leans back, showing them in an Interview shot, meaning we can see them both clearly together. A waitress then walks past, noticing nothing out of the ordinary, and places the cheque on the table towards Anna's direction. This would seem incorrect to the spectators, as it would typically be place towards the male of the table, however, the waitress has presumably waited on Anna's table all evening, and therefore knows that he did not eat a meal and was late. The Interview shot is then reversed; Anna picks up the bill when Dr. Crow attempts to himself. She writes a cheque, and puts it back. This conveys to spectators that she is merely angry with him for not being there on time, and that she is perhaps showing that she doesn't need him to pay the bill for her, as she is capable herself.
In addition, after paying the bill, she sighs and looks up and says "Happy Anniversary." This is the specific part of the scene where is seems obvious Crow is alive, as she seems to be staring directly towards him, as well as saying the only words she says to him throughout The Sixth Sense, prior to the scene he was shot. However, in actual fact, Anna is just celebrating her anniversary in the place she perhaps feels closest to her husband, as this is where he proposed to her, alone in grieving for Crow. Anna is clearly saddened, and leaves without another word. This also makes Dr. Crow seem alive to spectators, as although she is, in actual fact saddened about the death of her husband, it looks to spectators that she is purely let down that he arrived belatedly for their anniversary celebration, and that she simply does not want to speak to him at this moment
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
The Sixth Sense has a twist. Everyone by now knows this and sadly, through word of mouth, or through pop culture's numerous references to it, we all know what the twist is pretty much. The film is written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who subsequently became famous for delivering strange plot twists in his films, although none of them ever lived up to the brilliance of this cleverly executed twist. However, whilst this is a film largely driven by a decent twist, it's still a solid, if admittedly very overrated horror film that's atmospheric and tense thanks to a creepy performance by child star Haley Joel Osment.
The film revolves around Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a nervous young child who is able to see and speak to the dead, and the child psychologist, Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) who attempts to help him. However, it is he himself that needs help more than anyone.
Initially, Crowe dismisses the child's claims as mere insanity, but soon enough, comes to believe it, largely through the boy's connection to a previous patient named Vincent (Donnie Wahlberg), who committed suicide because "the voices" became too much for him (and wounded Crowe in the process).
Why this film works is because of its sheer atmosphere - it is very tense and doesn't rely on cataclysmic orchestral scores to keep it this way - it is very much Osment's brilliant Oscar-nominated performance that keeps things creepy, as well as an underlying mystery and maelstrom of dread.
The twist (which has since become Hollywood's worst kept secret) causes this film to become highly overrated, but it's still well-made, if a little slow-going at times. That said, the twist is rather mind-blowing and undeniably clever.
The sixth sense came out in 1999, when I was just 10 yeats old so never thought about watching it althought I do remember all the hype about it when it came out, 10 years later and I have just watched it for the first time, I obviously knew the main tag line but never the story or twist at the end, unfortunatly I wasn't too shocked by the twist (although I was told i'd never have guessed it), perhaps after already seeing a very similar ending in another film (Won't say which as it will give this ending away) I kinda guessed half way through this film how it would end (also certain scenes make it fairly obvious once you've guessed).
Anyway, the film is a horror/thriller about a young boy who is able to see ghosts, the young boy, played by Haley Joel Osment confides in Willis' character and tells him his secret, he can see dead people, Willis' is there to help the boy through his troubles thinking he needs help and cannot actually see dead people, the story continues until Willis finds a tape recording of a former patient whom he had sent to a doctors and was unable to help, where he hears rather stranges noises...maybe the little boy can see dead people after all.
The plot of the film is very clever when it gets around to the ending, I don't usually like supernatural films but this felt more like a thriller than a horror and at least the 'ghosts' were played by humans making sure they resembled reality as much as possible, the ending is obviously the main play in this film and if I hadn't been looking for it I doubt i'd have guessed the ending, although I did have an inkling without even thinking about it, it's very clever and I will watch the film back again soon to notice everything that I missed having not really knowing how it ends, although I did notice certain scenes which confirmed my thoughts throughout the film.
the acting on the parts of Willis, Collette and Osment were superb on all counts which helps this film greatly, Osment I had only seen in a couple of films before this one and wasn't hugely impressed, he obviously lived off his reputation of this film, maybe correctly but he did impress me in this film, Willish I have always known as a hard man so to see him playing something different was good to watch and Toni Collette as the boys mother was brilliant for her part.
Unfortunatly the special features were lacking on the dvd, that being that there was none, so not a huge amount to way for that.
The film, which I had waited 10 years to watch, was about what I expected, I wasn't stunned by it (although it is very good), perhaps because I had seen a very similar film not too long ago with the same ending took something away from it, had this been a year ago I'd probably be praising the film more so, this is a brilliant film no doubt about that, if I hadn't guessed the ending It would be one of my faves, it still probably is but not the stunning ending I was promised...
Carrying one of the best kept secrets in the history of cinema, this film is an absolute must-see. It captures the very essence of good story telling. Created by the now infamous director M Night Shymalan, it is cinema crafted to near perfection, with all the right ingredients to make a classic.
When Dr Malcolm Crowe comes home with his wife from a service that honours his work in the field of psychology, he is met with a disturbed young man who claims that he was failed by the doctor. Things take a violent turn, leaving Crowe distanced from his wife and all other human beings. He attempts to reconcile with his wife, but she seems disinterested and unable to communicate with him.
Meanwhile, Malcolm has started working with another young boy who appears to suffer from similar delusions as his attacker. Cole is bullied at school, comes from a one parent family and seems frightened from people that aren't really there. Eventually, Malcolm gets through to the boy, and they form a bond that helps them both banish the demons that seem to haunt them. Just when things seem to have worked out for both though, revelations come to the forefront that will shatter everything they, and their loved ones, believe to be true.
Much has been made of both Haley Joel Osmont and Bruce Willis in this film. Whilst both performances are outstanding, it has left the superb Toni Collette and her stand-out performance in the shadows. She is heartbreaking as a mother frightened for her increasingly-disturbed son, and a scene where they finally bond is one of the most real interactions I have seen on film due to its simplicity and fine acting from both Osmont and Collette.
Willis deserves his praise though. We're used to his action persona and his goofing around. Attempts to play it straight were largely unsuccessful until his low key turn in this film turned heads. Its the little tics and quirks that he applies to his Doctor that make it worth the watch. Its also true that the adult cast are completely outshined by the kid though. Osmont is a talent, and his wide eyed wonder as he is thrown into something he is too young to understand is spellbinding too watch.
The cast are only part of what makes this surprise hit so successful though. Care and craftmanship from director Shyamalan makes it his best work. Shamefully, he has lost the plot in subsequent films, becoming obsessed with his own success and his own formula. The twist that has become part of his every work makes complete sense in this film, and is supported by events that lead to it. However, in his latter work, he seems to be trying to repeat the winning formula to no avail.
Quibbles are minor though when this film is so relentlessly good. The various extra's on the DVD release allow us an insight into all the little subtle asides that the director applied to make the film work so well. I wont give any away, as even the documentary's and extra's are a treat, and will allow you into the world of Shymalan. In the meantime, this is a frighteningly good chiller that will have your hair stand on your neck, and boasts an able cast who all too often dont get the recognition they deserve.
"I see dead people," whispers little Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), scared to affirm what is to him now a daily occurrence. This peaked nine-year old, already hypersensitive to begin with, is now being haunted by seemingly malevolent spirits. Child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is trying to find out what's triggering Cole's visions, but what appears to be a psychological manifestation turns out to be frighteningly real. It might be enough to scare off a lesser man, but for Malcolm it's personal--several months before, he was accosted and shot by an unhinged patient, who then turned the gun on himself. Since then, Malcolm has been in turmoil--he and his wife (Olivia Williams) are barely speaking, and his life has taken an aimless turn. Having failed his loved ones and himself, he's not about to give up on Cole. The Sixth Sense, M Night Shyamalan's third feature, sets itself up as a thriller, poised on the brink of delivering monstrous scares, but gradually evolves into more of a psychological drama with supernatural undertones. Many critics faulted the film for being mawkish and New Age-y, but no matter how you slice it, this is one mightily effective piece of filmmaking. The bare bones of the story are basic enough, but the moody atmosphere created by Shyamalan and cinematographer Tak Fujimoto made this one of the creepiest pictures of 1999, forsaking excessive gore for a sinisterly simple feeling of chilly otherworldliness. Willis is in his strong, silent type mode here, and gives the film wholly over to Osment, whose crumpled face and big eyes convey a child too wise for his years; his scenes with his mother (Toni Collette) are small, heartbreaking marvels. And even if you figure out the film's surprise ending, it packs an amazingly emotional wallop when it comes, and will have you racing to watch the movie again with a new perspective. You may be able to shake off the sentimentality of The Sixth Sense, but its craftsmanship and atmosphere will stay with you for days. --Mark Englehart