Not every gift is a blessing
Running Time: 103 minutes
UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States
Nine-year-old Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) is a bit odd. He wears specs without any lenses in them. He sleeps underneath a makeshift tent in his bedroom. In school, he draws pictures of people being stabbed in the neck with screwdrivers. Oh yeah and he sees dead people. Literally.
Sounds like a case, if ever there was one, for award-winning child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis). Crowe looks like the best bet Cole has of exercising his chilling brand of demons but, as gradually becomes apparent, the good doctor has a few issues of his own to deal with.
Theres not really a lot you can say about the plot of The Sixth Sense without giving too much away to the first-time viewer. Upon its original release, this movie set tongues wagging as a result of its mind-blowing twist which, if you know what to look out for, can actually be seen coming a million miles off. To that end, its in many ways a much more fascinating experience the second or third time round.
This is a dark, eerie tale, but for all its ghostly subject matter its more likely to stick with you for its psychological effect than any instances of outright horror. Osments face is normally enough to give this reviewer the heebie-jeebies at the best of times, so in an environment as spooky as the one created here by M. Night Shyamalan, hes the perfect choice. Willis, meanwhile, produces a performance similar to that in another Shymalan flick, Unbreakable. Its easy to see him as someone of limited acting ability, but these are just two examples of him proving otherwise.
The Sixth Sense certainly isnt perfect. Despite a section in the DVD extras crowing about how meticulously various rules were applied, there are undoubtedly plot holes to be found. Whats more, parts of the film are overly-punctuated with music at times when chilling silence would seem more appropriate. But the overall story, impressive acting and incredible direction make this a must-watch DVD.
It's Got: Donnie Wahlberg taking a leaf out of his brothers book and showing us his pants.
It Needs: To be watched more than once, particularly if youre one for hunting down the many clues hinting at the end result.
DVD Extras 2 Disc Collectors Edition DVD. Reflections from the set, Between Two Worlds, the storyboard process, music and sound design, Reaching The Audience, Rules & Clues, deleted scenes, publicity, filmmaker & cast biographies. DVD Extras Rating: 9/10
Flawed in places, but essentially a fascinating film full of shocks, atmosphere, heavily-religious symbolism and one of the all-time classic twists.