Movies That Changed Everything: The Sixth Sense

October 7, 2010 at 8:25 am

Movies That Changed Everything: The Sixth Sense

I’m an aspiring filmmaker.  Like every filmmaker out there, I have a lengthy list of films that have inspired me along the way.  This series will examine twelve of the films that changed the way I looked at movies forever.  Films that have greatly influenced the filmmaker I hope to become someday…

The Sixth Sense

Movies That Changed Everything: The Sixth Sense

M. Night Shyamalan is one of my favorite directors…

I’m sensing a lot of people rolling their eyes but I stand by my statement because 4 of his films are spectacular.

Love him or hate him, you can’t doubt that at one point, he was one of the most entertaining and original filmmakers out there.

It’s movies like The Sixth Sense that gave him the fame he has (or doesn’t have) today.

Why is it a movie that changed everything?

Pacing.  Story.  Character development .

Most importantly:


The entire film is essentially one giant build up to it’s phenomenal twist ending.  However, such a giant plot point has to be carefully setup without giving too much away.

Watch the film again…  It wasn’t easy but Shyamalan pulled it off.

From the very first shot he is skillfully planting the seeds he needs to sell the incredible finale.  From the cold breath to setting Bruce Willis’ character up as a sympathetic child psychologist.  Everything is important.

Personally, I think it’s one of the best openings sequences in film history.

From there, the director tows a fine line as he builds up his characters and raises hairs on the backs of your neck.

I love how this film is paced.  Very slow yet deliberate.

Sometimes, slow paced movies can become long and boring but The Sixth Sense is as entertaining as thrillers get.  Beyond that, it’s an intelligent film that gets you thinking about what is possible after this life.  It’s gets you to think about what frightens you.

Great movies tell stories that resonate.  Stories that ignite conversations between friends.

The Sixth Sense achieves all that and more before blindsiding you with a legendary twist.  M. Night Shyamalan wasn’t given the key to Hollywood for nothing.

He earned it by creating one of the best thrillers of all time.

I watch that movie and immediately, I’m ready to write simple yet effective stories that get all the details right.  It sounds simple enough but it’s a balance that’s hard to nail.  When I feel like I’m not getting there I always look to movies like The Sixth Sense for inspiration.

It’s definitely a movie that changed everything.