Malcom Crowe (Bruce Willis) is a successful child psychologist till something goes wrong with one of his now grown-up patients. A year later he gets to work with Cole Sear, a young boy who he doesn't find out till later sees and hears dead people. Being friendless and labeled as a "freak" while being tormented with these sights, Cole's only hope is Malcom, who at the same time is trying to deal with his marriage that is falling apart.
If I had to sum this movie up in 1 word... it'd be "Wow!" I wasn't planning on seeing The Sixth Sense due to the "violent images" I read about and for the fact that they were calling it the scariest movie of the year so far. But when I got the chance to go (although on the way there I prayed it'd be sold out), I took it.
Well, I have to say I'm not disappointed I went. But I was rather "disturbed," if not annoyed, by some of the material in the film... mainly the "violent images," as they call it.
The Sixth Sense had top-notch acting, solid plot, and probably the most impressive, mind-boggling, ending I may have ever seen. It has one of the craziest twists!
But the thing I found scariest about this thriller was wondering what the condition of the next dead person would be. From suicide victims to car accident victims, the viewer gets an eyeful of the aftermath of many violent deaths. An aspect that if let out of the film, could only have helped it. For the violent-desensitized, this film is perfect, but for the more "innocent" of viewers, heed strong caution.
I will begin the death-viewing warnings: The first deceased character we see is woman with slits on her wrists (several on each) and a bruised face. We later see a set of 3 people hung from the ceiling in Cole's school. All have their eyes wide open in a spooky way with their faces varying from being scratched to bruised. The absolute worst is a young boy who apparently looks fine, till we see him turn around and get a glimpse of the back of his head. It appears as though he committed suicide with a gun and part of the back of his head is missing, leaving a very bloody, rather gory sight (you won't read a report this detailed folks. I didn't. It was much worse than I read). A young girl is shown with sickly eyes, as she is puking in front of Cole in a rather disgusting matter. A woman who talks to Cole at his school appears to be fine, till we see her turn to her side and her arm and face are burned and somewhat bloody. Towards the end, we see a woman with what looks like a bicycle helmet on and blood trickling down from her head down (briefly seen). And lastly, we see a man with the back of his shirt all bloody and then another view of his back really bloody with a pool of blood where he lies.
Although all of the above does sound like a lot, the movie's 2-hour running time mainly focuses on Bruce Willis' character Malcom and his relationship with his wife, as well as, him trying to help Cole, and Cole's relationship with his mother. The film includes a lot of touching moments and a few tear-jerking scenes. It has more heart than expected and was done very well.
The language is limited to one "s" word and a few various other "smaller" cuss words. Sex/nudity isn't very bad. In the beginning, it looks as though Malcom and his wife Anna were preparing to "do something," but were interrupted before anything happened. And later in the film, we see Anna in the shower from Malcom's point of view, and we see the shape of her nude body, but no explicit nudity (with her arms and legs stratigically placed).
On the scary level, the movie gets it's creepiness mainly from the gross images, scary/intense music, and the whole idea of dead people walking around and being everywhere. Definitely a topic movie. Something to talk about. It's scarier than The Haunting (much), and up there with the intensity and creepiness of The Mummy (more so, actually). This is NOT a kids movie by any stretch of the imagination (We did see a few youngsters in there - not cool). And if anyone is prone to nightmares or paranoia, cross this one off. It's definitely not a family movie.
It was a very "good" movie with an incredible ending, but however, I can't really recommend it. It was "good" on the level of creativity, acting and storyline. However, it was definitely not good, and detrimental to the appeal of the film [to me] with all the gross/bloody/gory images. If those were toned down or removed, the film would be a must-see. So on that note, and on saying I thought it was much better than I expected, I can't grant the film any higher, or any lower for that matter than three and a half stars. If you have any questions about the movie, if you still intend on seeing it (or not), don't hesitate to contact me.- John DiBiase (reviewed: 8/12/99)
Parental Guide: Brief Summary of Content
Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not exclusively on content. However, if the content really affects the reviewer's opinion and experience of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's overall rating.
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