The Sixth Sense
Message from the Editors: WARNING. This review contains SPOILERS. Reading it prior to seeing the film will destroy any possible enjoyment you could derive from the film. That's assuming, of course, that you don't already know that Bruce Willis is in it.
Another Message from the Editors: Hey, moron! Are you paying attention? This is your SECOND WARNING. Just to demonstrate the effect of the SPOILER, we had Mr. Cranky take his grandmother to the film and then, right as it started, reveal the big secret. Here's an excerpt from her response: "You prick bastard. I don't know how much longer I'm going to be alive and you're ruining the one chance at enjoyment I might have? I could have an aneurysm walking out of the theater. You think that's funny? Here's funny. You were an artificially inseminated baby. Because your mother was so sickened by your father, she went downtown and had an ugly homeless man masturbate into a cup." You've been warned.
This film is "La Riviere du Hibou" (otherwise known as "The Occurrence at Owl Creek") meets "Ghost." That's its gimmick. That child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) doesn't realize he's a ghost isn't revealed until the very end of the film, raising a whole host of questions starting with the words: "How stupid is this guy that..."
Once Crowe realizes his ephemeral nature, you immediately think back to all the ways director M. Night Shyamalan tricked you in the preceding scenes. The biggest one comes when Crowe visits the home of Cole (Haley Joel Osment), who has the ability to see the dead. Cole walks into the room and sees his mom (Toni Collette) sitting with Crowe as though the two had just spent the afternoon playing Scrabble and debating the afternoon's Judge Judy verdicts. In reality, one would think that mom's complete non-response to Crowe's presence would tip genius-boy to the fact that something's a tad off. And how did he even get in the door? When Malcolm is at home with his wife, Anna (Olivia Williams), he can't get a closet door open, which is later supposed to signify his other-worldliness.
Basically, this film is banking on me being spookified by its X-Files-like weirdness. Unfortunately, I don't find it weird at all. I find it stupid. Mr. Cranky doesn't believe in ghosts. What Mr. Cranky does believe is that those who buy such supernatural nonsense tend to run around spouting witticisms they picked up from astrology columns and passing that off as "knowledge." If being trapped in room with 200 such yammering nimrods is your idea of an ideal evening, then by all means go see "The Sixth Sense."
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