5 Selected – M. Night Shyamalan

For a while I thought that M Night was trying to be the next Hitchcock. He kept appearing in his own films, although he didn’t have the grace of Hitchcock and attempted to blend into the background instead he gave himself some major parts.. He’s famed for blasting his audience away with impressive plot twists which

sixth-sense01.Sixth Sense (1999)

One of the first films that really planted M Night on the map. A haunting (literary) thriller starring Bruce Willis and “that kid”. To be honest at the time of writing this I’ve never watched the movie all the way though mostly because i got exposed to the “plot twist” waaaay before finishing the movie and everything was ruined. It doesn’t mean the entire film is ruined though it’s well crafted and pretty deep throughout. A cop befriends a kid who can see dead people. It pretty iconic and was certainly different for it’s time. 7/10

phoenix signs02.Signs (2002)

I’m not a huge fan of Gibson in this film, but Phoenix is just brilliant as underachieving swinging Meryl. While dealing with the age old questions of Religion Vs. Alien Invasion, a grieving father and a poorly asthmatic child (I had asthma as a child and I got no special treatment), this science fiction horror(?) pulls at all the heart strings. It’s not astounding but it’s good. Basically the film follows a priest on the edge, he’s recently lost his wife and is turning away from the church when strange things start signalling the start of an alien invasion, as it’s Mel Gibson he is a fearless but fractured father who lives with his brother Meryl (Phoenix), and his two kids, Morgan (Culkin) and Bo. It doesn’t have a huge twist at the end but as the title suggests there is a connection of various odd points during the movie that make you go ooohhhhhhh… or not.  I have no idea why I adore this movie so much but I do. 6/10

the-village03.The Village (2004)

Possibly one of his earliest-most hated movies, I have to admit I was caught up in the drama to miss the obvious. A small town is terrorised and controlled by a strict code that’s in place to appease a bunch of forest monsters, who; a legend has it, will punish the impure and unworthy. kinda..?? Phoenix’s first movie with M Night who does like to use the same actors time and time over, This time he’s paired off with Bryce Dallas HowardLady in the water was her second film with M Night, gotta use everyone twice innit). I don’t want to spoil the film but basically i wanted more blood shed in this, It could have been an epic horror 5/10

unbreakable bruce willis04.Unbreakable (2000)

I had to actually watch this film, it’s not like I had been avoiding it but I certainly hadn’t made much effort to watch it previously. But as it was one of the early M Night movies I thought it would have better credibility and with the addition of Bruce Willis and Sammy L, what could go wrong?  The film drags out a simple concept. Elijah Price (Samuel L Jackson) is as fragile as tissue paper and in all of his years dealing with this he’s convinced that there must be someone who is the total opposite and though his love of comic books he’s made up his mind that this unbreakable person is basically a superhero but all heroes have a kryptonite right? Anyway he tracks down David Dunn (Bruce Willis) who appears to be this amazing super human but is it that simple? Obviously there is a twist at the end, you can’t have a M Night movie without one, the only problem is that everyone expects this now and you spend most of the movie looking out for it. I felt the film spent way too much time trying to make the viewer believe then disbelieve if Bruce was a super being or not, rather than just showing us some amazing shit! 4/10

the visit05.The Visit (2015)

M Night was slipping off the edge of the world after a series of shit films. He managed to almost claw back some respectability with the Visit. Taking an entirely different approach he manages to come back with a killer twist in the format of a found footage thriller. A couple of kids are shipped off to their estranged grandparents and decide to film the whole event, but they get a personal introduction to sundowning on possibly one of the scariest weeks a couple of kids could endure. 6/10

I’ve not watched much after the fucktrain that was the Happening, it had such good potential but it was abysmal.. and just the previews of his other films pretty much did my head in. After the partial success of The Visit it does seem that he’s doing a few more films, if his history is anything to go by I’d expect to see some of the same actors again or some  green screen bullshit.. who knows!

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