The Sixth Sense (1999)
August is mostly thought of as a time of dead water for summer movies. But now I think it should be regarded as the best month for film this whole mediocre summer, and The Sixth Sense is one of the main reasons. Though the title kinda’ sucks.
In a summer low on genuine chills here’s one movie that offers honest-to-God-grip-the-armrest-chills. It’s very moody when it needs to be and creepy when it never has to be but is anyway, and constantly moving. The Sixth Sense also offers audiences something they haven’t seen this summer: real characters with depth. The characters leap from the screen and are slowly established as complicated, rounded, and very thoughtful people. Now that’s something that took me for surprise.
Bruce Willis achieves his quiet mode and teams up yet again with another child (a la Mercury Rising). Willis’ acting is solemn and just enough to drive his character through his quest. You haven’t seen Bruce Willis show this much emotion since he walked over glass in Die Hard! But the story of The Sixth Sense is a little tyke that comes from out of nowhere and redefines child acting. To say Haley Joel Osment carries the film is an understatement – he throws it on his back and runs a 4.3 with it. If Ana Paquan can win an Oscar for babysitting a piano then this kid deserves one too. This is the greatest child actor I’ve seen in years and I begin to wonder why Lucas chose his miscast young Anakin.
The best thing The Sixth Sense has is intelligence. It rewards those who stood up and paid attention with a knock-out terrific ending that wraps everything up you questioned before. And you will rerun things in your mind over and over when you leave the theater. My only complaint, and it is small, is that the direction could be tighter at times. But for everything The Sixth Sense has to offer I will gladly wait in line for seconds. The best summer chiller, and one of the best movies of the year. The title still sucks though.
Nate’s Grade: A
Posted on August 4, 1999, in 1999 Movies, Review Re-View and tagged bruce willis, drama, ghosts, haley joel osment, horror, m. night shyamalan, olivia williams, oscars, thriller, toni collette. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.