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The Sixth Sense (1999) – Episode 24 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“I see dead people.” – Cole (Haley Joel Osment) reveals his secret to Dr. Malcolm (Bruce Willis) in the line that launched a thousand pop culture references. M. Night Shyamalan’s  The Sixth Sense  was a phenomenon upon release in August of 1999. It made M. Night the new talk of Hollywood, being nominated for multiple Oscars and giving the twist ending a whole new revitalized image. However, as M. Night’s career has gone through a real roller coaster experience over the past near 20 years, one wonders how well this film holds up. Luckily, Decades of Horror 1990s is here to investigate if  The Sixth Sense  still packs a punch or if there’s a twist in its legacy.

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 24 — The Sixth Sense (1999)

Th Sixth Sense  is mainly remembered for the influential twist. Obviously, it took the world by storm and has been parodied countless times. Yet, there’s more going on here. The central theme of lacking communication plagues all our characters. Malcolm’s wife Anna (Olivia Williams) is distant from him. Cole has to struggle with hiding his secret from his overworked mother Lynn (Toni Collette). Even the ghosts are unable to properly communicate with anyone other than Cole, who is at the short end of their confused and sometimes violent outbursts that scare the hell out of them. It’s a subtle yet beautiful examination of regret, loss, and connection that resonates between these characters, proving that horror can make us cry genuine tears of sadness in between fits of terror.

Well, at least for some of us. For this episode,  Thomas Mariani enlists the help of a few others who can communicate with the undead, Doc Rotten and Caitlin Turner. Our trio harmoniously agrees that drama at the heart of  The Sixth Sense  is still palpable. Praise is spread for the entire cast, though Toni Collette gets the lion’s share of the praise for grounding Haley Joel Osment from becoming a full-blown M. Night parody of a character we’re used to. However, there’s plenty of debate as to whether the ghosts are malicious and how much the film leans on the twist to support its storytelling. It’s a…  “spirited” discussion to say the least. Plus, there’s a big announcement about a major change in the podcast to stay tuned for!

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We want to hear from you — the coolest, most gruesome  fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1990s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or tweet Thomas  @NotTheWhosTommy. Also, make sure to give us some love via  iTunes  reviews and ratings. Helps us  get more notice along the way.

The intro and outro is  “Suck City” by Black Math. Look for more of their music via  Free Music Archive.

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Doc Rotten
Doc Rotten is the founder of Gruesome Magazine. He is also a film critic for Gruesome Magazine and the podcast host & producer for Horror News Radio, Monster Movie Podcast, Decades of Horror: 1970s, The American Horror Story Fan Podcast and Hannibal Fan Podcast. He is also co-host of the Dracula podcast on TV TALK and is a contributing reviewer for HorrorNews.Net and Widescreen Warrior. Doc a lifelong fan of horror films, sci-fi flicks and monster movies first discovering Universal Monsters and Planet of the Apes as a young child in the 1970's searching out every issue of Famous Monster of Filmland (and, later, Fangoria). Favorite films include Jaws, The Car, The Birds, The Tingler, Vampire Circus and The Exorcist. Still a huge fan of horror films from the 70s, Doc continues consuming horror films to this day for the site, for the podcasts and for the fun of it all.

1 Reply to “The Sixth Sense (1999) – Episode 24 – Decades of Horror 1990s

  1. So sorry to hear of your loss Thomas, that was a touching tribute at the opening. Very moving and so true, great words of wisdom. Stay strong, and thanks for all the great podcasts, they have kept me going through some dark times over the last few years.

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