The Sixth Sense Film Review
The Sixth Sense is a supernatural horror film from 1999, starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment, directed by M. Night Shyamalan. It is about a young boy, Cole Sear, who can see dead people, and is too afraid to tell anybody his secret. He confides in Dr. Malcolm Crowe, a psychiatrist, who unknown to Cole and himself, is dead.
Whenever there is danger presented in the film, the colour red seems to appear more often, sometimes so obviously such as the scene where we see Cole asleep on the floor of his tent, as his mother is having a nightmare and he is about to be approached by the ghost of a young girl. Coles tent is made of red fabric, and we only see this tent when he is afraid and when there are supernatural happenings, so we as the audience associate this tent with fear. The tent is somewhat of a cliché, as tents are used all over the horror genre, as you can see creepy silhouettes and the feeling that you are only a thin sheet away from danger. Later on in the film, when we find out a woman who is guilty of the death of a young girl is seen to be wearing all red, red dress and red lipstick, at a funeral where everybody is wearing black. From the moment the camera is on her we notice the stark difference between her and everybody else, even if she is out of focus in the background.
It is an emotional film as well as a horror, it is very sad on many levels. We see Dr. Crowes story of him and his wife acting like strangers, and see glimpses of when they were happy. We also see the little boys life, and how he is bullied, lonely and so afraid of everything. “Osment's pinched, old-young face suggests an ancient's insight without an ancient's defences -- a sensitivity so exquisitely morbid that you worry more for his emotional than physical well-being.” (Edelstein, 2013)
In this quote by Edelsteing, he explains how we become so emotionally connected to Cole’s character, as he portrays a young abused boy so well, and we see the adult themes that he has to deal with and we feel sorry for him.
|Figure 2: Movie Still|
There are camera shots used in the film to exaggerate how certain characters are feeling. For example, when Dr. Crowe is playing a game and trying to make Cole sit with him, we see he camera from Cole’s point of view, and the camera steps back with him as Dr Crowe is looking at us. Also in the films ending where it is revealed that he is dead, there are panicked camera shots that move frantically, and it gives us a sense of what is running through the characters mind. We see shots that match the beginning shots, such as Dr Crowe lying down on the bed after being shot, and we can see just his head on his patterned duvet, and we then are shown the shot int the present with just his head upright against a patterned wall, mimicking the moment of his death, as he realises he is dead.
“You leave slightly asquirm. You know it will linger. It becomes a clammy, chilly movie building toward a revelation that you cannot predict.” (Hunter, 2014)
The way the camera shots show you things that convey other things, such as when the camera cuts to a shot of Coles mother and Dr.Crowe, tricks you into thinking they are having a conversation, and makes the ending more of a shock as you do not predict it, as Hunter says. It is unpredictable, and camera shots have carefully been filmed so that we do not guess that he is in fact, a ghost.
There are instances of foreshadowing in the film, such as when Cole reveals to Dr. Crowe that he sees dead people and they are talking about stories, and Cole tells Dr. Crowe that all stories need a big twist. Also the penny trick is seen twice in the film, and we see the penny throughout the film at different places, maybe telling us as an audience that we are being tricked as we are watching it.
Although a horror film, The Sixth Sense does not rely on gore and horror clichés that are associated with horror films. “M Night Shyamalan has fashioned a modern classic here, a chilly, intelligent, emotional ghost story that relies not on the obligatory gore and knifeplay for its many shocks but on glimpses of an afterlife that's anything but angels and harps.” (Collins, 2013). As Collins states, The Sixth Sense is a different style of horror film, and is more intelligent than the usual cheap horror films we see, although there are quite a few jump scares.
(1999), and (1999), (2016). The Sixth Sense. [online] Rottentomatoes.com. Available at: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/sixth_sense/ [Accessed 12 Apr. 2016].
Edelstein, D. (2016). CuteFella. [online] Slate Magazine. Available at: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/movies/1999/08/cutefella.html [Accessed 12 Apr. 2016].
Filmdizitavsiye.com. (2016). [online] Available at: http://www.filmdizitavsiye.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-Sixth-Sense.jpg [Accessed 12 Apr. 2016].
Pic.yify-torrent.org. (2016). [online] Available at: https://pic.yify-torrent.org/20140422/33447/e613cae67acd4e04b2dc0f766cc0007c.png [Accessed 12 Apr. 2016].
M., Morgan, T., Shyamalan, M. and Shyamalan, M. (2016). The Sixth Sense | Film review and movie reviews | Radio Times. [online] RadioTimes. Available at: http://www.radiotimes.com/film/ccrzg/the-sixth-sense [Accessed 12 Apr. 2016].
Static-secure.guim.co.uk. (2016). [online] Available at: https://static-secure.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/10/22/1413975869329/The-Sixth-Sense-012.jpg [Accessed 12 Apr. 2016].
Washingtonpost.com. (2016). 'The Sixth Sense' (PG-13). [online] Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/sixthsensehunter.htm [Accessed 12 Apr. 2016].