The Sixth Sense
It's unfortunate that this movie has had its ending spoiled to the point of it not being a spoiler anymore. Pretty much everyone knows how it ends by now. Some may have seen it coming (or so they say), but luckily for myself, I was one of many who was kinda blown away, and definitely had to re-watch it. The first time around was a great ride that left you questioning the mistakes the movie must have made. The second time is almost better, though, as you realize the writing is pretty damn tight.
Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is a child psychologist who, through a bad experience with one of his patients, finds himself wanting to do right by helping a troubled boy, Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment). In a side story, Malcolm also gets so caught up in his work that he starts to have trouble with his wife, Anna (Olivia Williams), who seems overlooked.
Cole lives his life in fear, both of the bullies at school, and of his deep dark secret; he sees dead people. He keeps this from everyone, including his mother (Toni Collette), leading the kids at school to dub him a "freak", and his mother to genuinely worry about him. But being that his secret seems so outlandish, he keeps it to himself, confiding in Dr. Crowe to help him through his fears and find some sort of solution.
Going back to the watchability of it, a lot of people will probably pass this off as something you see two or three times to pick up on things that lead to the twist, but then put it down because it just doesn't have that impact anymore. However, I still deem this perfectly watchable for multiple sittings, as the film represents so much more than one of Hollywood's greatest movie twists of all time. Potential spoilers ahead, but as I mentioned before... can this even be spoiled anymore, today?
If you look at Cole's situation, his big lesson is that he eventually has to face his fears, whether he wants to or not. These ghosts can really represent anything the viewer may fear, but must face. It could be a surgery you have to go through, a place you have to move to for work, or a final test you have to take to graduate. I find this movie to mostly be about facing your fears head on, and it's no coincidence that I really started to take to horror movies right after watching this.
On the other side of things, you have Dr. Crowe. My big takeaway from his side of things is also pretty simple, and that's to do what you need to do before you pass on. Part of that lies in helping Cole, allowing him to forgive himself for failing his previous patient (the same one he had trouble with at the beginning of this review). But part of it is also to do with his wife, and just getting that time in with your spouse while you can.
So, even though this one is 20 years old now, and everyone knows how it ends, it still ends up going on my list of film recommendations as a lot of the writing cleverly brings out other aspects of the world around us, and how we deal with it as individuals. This film is absolutely Shyamalan at his best, so if you wanna check out any of his movies, this is like the 'Empire Strikes Back' of his collection - complete with spoiler you probably already know going into it.
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