When I think about all of the things that can give me a good scare, the supernatural hardly comes to mind. There’s something about ghosts and the unexplained that tends to make me snicker rather than cower in fear, especially when it’s being portrayed on the big screen. That is, until I saw The Sixth Sense.
A blend of genuine emotion and realistic fears, The Sixth Sense burrows under your skin and opens your mind to a whole new way of thinking. Haley Joel Osment plays the psychologically disturbed eight-year-old, Cole Sear. His deep sadness and struggle with what he perceives to be real is both haunting and touching. There are times when his frightened eyes and choked-up voice seem so real that you want to reach out to him for a hug. He is very convincing as the confused child; you can’t help but become a believer in his hidden torment.
Also starring, in a refreshing character change, is Bruce Willis. He surprisingly does an impressive job as the guilt-ridden child psychologist, Dr. Malcolm Crowe. His desire to help Cole face his fears and become a happy-go-lucky child consumes his every thought as he will stop at nothing to save the boy from self-destruction. Willis, most commonly known for his burley action flicks, should consider playing more of these dramatic roles. With sincerity and thoughtfulness he is able to care for the distressed child, and endears himself to the audience as well.
Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense is one of the most original thrillers I have seen. Instead of showing too much, it makes you feel your way. You can’t help but be drawn into Cole’s personal hell, and every character encountered sparks an emotional chord that can’t be ignored. With a surprise ending that will make your hair stand on end and a cast of believable, likable characters, you are swept up in the world that is The Sixth Sense.
+ Ashley Adams