Few films achieve the enduring impact of The sixth Sense, the psychological horror classic that launched M.Night Shyamalan to international success and made us fear going to the bathroom in the middle of the night for a long time. It was released almost a quarter of a century ago, in 1999, a year considered one of the best in the history of cinema due to the number of exemplary works that swept the box office (The Matrix, Fight Club, American Beauty, among other).
However, no matter how much time passes, we all remember the day we saw her for the first time. Above all, we remember the experience of feeling vulnerable, completely delivered and with our cinephile souls open-mouthed when the story revealed its great surprise. A spoiler alert defining twist because you can’t say it out loud. Not now, not ever… And it’s not just me saying it, it’s Shyamalan’s word.
“Never. Never in this life.” It is the recommendation that even now, decades later, the director maintains for those who want to talk about the end of one of his films. Shyamalan is currently promoting his new genre production, knock at the door, and during his time on the Graham Norton program he talked about the importance of maintaining a pact of secrecy as a cinephile society being considerate of future generations.
“I was at the premiere [de su nueva película] and there were young influencers who told me ‘we just saw your movie Signs, it’s incredible’. I mean, they saw her yesterday. There is a new generation that is going to see these movies. So don’t say anything! Don’t tell your children anything, let them see them!” However, not everyone applied this lesson throughout all these years. Sarah Michelle Gellarthe eternal Buffy, was sitting next to him in the show and spontaneously represented all those clueless people who ruined the viewing experience. The sixth Sense for the first time.
The actress, who is also promoting her new work –Wolf Pack-, she said that she screwed up so much by revealing to her husband Freddie Prinze Jr. the great surprise of the film, that he spent a long time without seeing a movie with her. “We had been into the movie for 20 minutes and I said something without realizing it. ‘Oh, that’s…’ and my husband hasn’t seen a movie with me again in 15 years.”
“And with all the reason of the world”, The director responded with a scowl.
The disappointment that Freddie Prinze Jr. experienced was something experienced by many viewers over the years. Because not everyone was as careful as Shyamalan asks when talking about the film.
How to forget that phenomenon, right? The sixth Sense it generated conversation in offices, schools, television programs, radio, on the street… Anyone who had seen it in theaters, back in 1999, felt the urgency to talk about that ending. And more than one of them missed the revelation, out of enthusiasm, selfishness or oversight.
Or, who hasn’t heard someone say the phrase: “they ruined my ending” because some inconsiderate person released the outcome without taking into account the experience of the other? Or what a movie like as if it were the first time with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler will reveal it without anesthesia in a sequence? What’s more, there are Reddit forums and other platforms where it is discussed which series, program or person ruined the end of The sixth Sense. I myself remember being in a conversation at the time and feeling the urge to stop someone who almost let loose in front of a group that hadn’t seen it yet.
Talk about The sixth Sense It is an exercise in generous conscience. And it is that although there are many films with final surprises that require the same caution –Common Suspects (The Usual Suspects), Seven, The Naked Truth, Fight Club, The Others, The Origin and many others- The sixth Sense defined the stray spoiler alert.
It was the film that made an entire generation more aware than ever of the importance of maintaining secrecy. Even still, so long after. To follow this pact of universal silence that we sealed (and without knowing it) the day we saw her for the first time. I personally believe that although many clueless people ruined the experience for hundreds of viewers, The sixth Sense it defined how we talk about spoilers and reveals. Not only with the journalistic practice of adding disclaimers (or warnings) in articles, but also by applying a rigorous question before talking about a movie or chapter in its entirety: “have you seen it yet?”
I completely agree with M. Night Shyamalan. It will never be a good time to talk about the end of The sixth Sense, unless we make sure that those who can hear us already saw it.
Unfortunately, social networks like Twitter constantly threaten this practice, having become a minefield of spoilers that we have to flee from every time a popular series is released on streaming services. There are many users who feel the urgency of dumping surprises, revelations and plots -with photos and videos included- when a chapter has been released, without taking into account the experience of the rest. A consequence of modern immediacy. The urge to be part of the conversation. To be the first, to go viral. And this happened to many of us. Since the revelation of Jon Snow’s tragic fate in the fifth season of Game of Thrones, to the surprise ending in the second season of Only murders in the buildingto everything that is happening in The Last of Us. The spoilers are constant and without any kind of warning. And, consequently, we have had to adopt the practice of avoiding entering this platform until we saw the new chapter of our favorite series.
Therefore, taking advantage of Shyamalan’s words, it is a good time to remind those of us who experience the phenomenon of The sixth Sense at the end of the 90s, that we have a key experience to pass the lesson to future generations. The lesson to shut up or at least ask first, as a courtesy from moviegoer to moviegoer.
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‘The sixth sense’ and the end that defined a generation (and it is not said)
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