Anchor Staff Writer
Fans of Halloween are searching for the next scary movie to set the mood for this approaching holiday, and they’re getting restless. Thankfully, with the release of new films such as “The Black Phone” and “Smile” there is no need to look very far, but it might be worth it to try something a little different this October with the 1999 release, “The Sixth Sense.”
The film follows young Cole Sear and his bone-chilling secret: His ability to see the dead walking amongst the living. Terrified of his mother and friends not believing him, Sear receives several visits from beyond the grave and is burdened with handling the trauma of his spectral companions on his own. It is until he meets Dr. Malcolm Crowe, a psychologist who shows the child outcast a little compassion, that Sear begins to realize the importance of his gift and loses his fear. Using his ability, he’s able to communicate with the dead and help them find peace, something he recognizes when he solves the murder of a young girl after she seeks him out in his home. Throughout the film, Sear and Crowe form a friendship beyond doctor and patient, creating a bond that any audience would be able to feel from beyond the screen. Crowe is able to help Sear grow less afraid of his supernatural gift, and in return, Sear helps the Doctor learn a great deal more about himself.
It is an older film, but “The Sixth Sense” is not outdated, and I am devastated that I wasn’t able to see it sooner. Its story was thorough and built gradually towards an outstanding plot-twist with an onslaught of genius details hinting towards it from the very beginning. The relationships formed between the characters were real, exemplified in the heartfelt bond between Sear and Crowe. Haley Joel Osment, who portrayed Sear, was only 11 years old during filming and provided an unforgettable performance that only a few child actors have reached. The visuals, use of color and camera work included, were simple, yet effective in creating the eerie atmosphere that would house Sear and his ghostly friends. However, if you are looking for a terrifying film, “The Sixth Sense” might be a little tame. It was suspenseful, but the jump-scares were subtle and not as nightmare-inducing as some hardcore horror fans might prefer.
“The Sixth Sense” is an under-appreciated film and it is unfortunate that it hasn’t gained more love by the younger generation. It is one of the few thrillers I’ve found that focus on the quality of the story rather than an abundance of gore and special effects. This film genuinely seems that the great minds behind it put a lot of care into making an enjoyable experience for viewers.
As you’re looking for a scare this Halloween, try something new, as one never knows what they’ll find if they look a little further into the dark.