M. Night Shyamalan is one of those writers/directors everyone loves to hate but I never really understood why. Yes, The Last Airbender was not his shining moment and his first attempt at an ACTUAL horror movie format with The Visit didn’t go well, but that doesn’t mean he’s not great at what he does. He’s got talent and some of his least popular movies deserve another chance.
Everyone loved The Sixth Sense. That was our introduction to the Shyamalan twist, as it has come to be known. Nobody saw it coming and if they said they did, I call bullshit. It was slow burning, quiet and terrifying. Haley Joel Osment killed his role and it went down very quickly as a classic.
Unbreakable was also a crowd favorite, but then things started to go downhill for Shyamalan and his fans. People started getting tired of the twists, disliking the stories thinking they were stupid and giving his movies poor ratings to which I say….”What the hell is wrong with you people??”
There was even a creepy mockumentary about all of his mysteries like he was some supernatural being called The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan. It was wildly entertaining and I thought it was so fun that he participated even though he got a lot of criticism for marketing it as real. They took a tip from The Blair Witch Project and it backfired.
I’m taking this time to remind you, my lovely readers, about why you should love M. Night Shyamalan’s movies, past The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. This is excluding his new movie Split that has received rave reviews.
5. The Village
Oh my God, the hate for The Village is palpable. When you start talking about it, the haters literally climb from between the couch cushions to say why they hate it so much. Maybe because I don’t go into a movie or a magic show determined to spoil the twists and tricks that I am able to enjoy it more. While I thought the “monsters” in the woods were silly looking, the actual story was interesting and heartbreaking.
4. Lady in the Water
Maybe it was the performance by Paul Giamatti or the dry humor hidden between the fantasy story, I’m not sure but I love this movie, despite the overwhelmingly negative reviews. I have seen it multiple times and I love it every time. Bryce Dallas Howard pulls out another quiet and strong performance as Story and the characters in the apartment building are exaggerated and wonderful. It doesn’t deserve the hate it receives.
While it follows the famous Shaymalan guideline, its style is very different due to the fact that he just produced it. Confined to basically one set, this movie is paranoid and claustrophobic. While the twist is easier to see coming in this particular movie, it was creepy and more disturbing than his other movies.
2. The Happening
Spoiler alert….it was the trees and people bitched about that to no end. It was M. Night Shyamalan’s first rated R film and I think this might be his creepiest one. It released to negative reviews but this remains one of my favorites. The thought that you take your own life out of your own control is terrifying. And I thought that the idea that nature was doing what it had to to protect itself was a refreshing and new idea. This movie deserves a lot of love.
This movie is considered one of his better ones and for good reason. I’m biased because I love most things alien but this movie is very well made. While I could do without the repeated flashbacks that build to the big ending, it’s a slow burn and builds to a creepy crescendo. The fact that you only see small flashes of the aliens themselves makes the movie even better. Signs is great for watching more than once and the creepiness remains. It’s definitely tops in my book.
I believe these movies deserve more love than what they were given. What is your favorite of M. Night Shyamalan’s so-called “worst” films? Let us know in the comments. While you’re here, check out the Split/Unbreakable news here.
(Featured image courtesy of ET Online)