31 Days of Horror Movie: The Sixth Sense (1999; PG-13; 107 min)

This “new classic” is still on my Top 7 list of horror movies because it’s just everything you could want in a scary, yet thought-provoking, movie. Written and directed by one of my favorites, M. Night Shyamalan, and featuring one of his signature surprise-twist endings, The Sixth Sense stars Bruce Willis as Dr. Malcolm Crowe. Crowe is a reknowned child psychologist in Philadelphia who begins to see an anxiety-ridden 9-year-old boy named Cole (Haley Joel Osment in an amazing performance) whose parents have divorced and who has a secret he does not want to share with others.

Quietly, slowly, Dr. Crowe and Cole develop a trusting relationship, until Cole is ready to share his secret (in a haunting whisper of a voice): “I see dead people.” It seems Cole can see what others cannot, and dead people are trying to communicate with him, leaving him terrified, petrified, and horrified at his predicament. Dr. Crowe suggests Cole should try to find out what the dead people are trying to tell him, and to help them if he can. When Cole undertakes this task, we are all able to feel with breathtaking fear what young Cole is experiencing.

Meanwhile, Dr. Crowe is having troubles of his own. Since being shot by a former patient the year before, he has been feeling distant from his wife Anna. And Cole’s mother, Lynn, who does not know his secret, is trying desparately to help her son with the problems he is having at school and at home, which have her baffled and concerned. In the end, each person finds his, or her, way to accept what life has become and who they really are.

  • Top Scare: Way too many to mention just one!
  • Heartbeats: 4 1/2 out of 5
  • Gore factor: 3 out of 5
  • Suspense factor: 4 1/2 out of 5
  • Recommended for: Mature 13+
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