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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 42:35)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    French, Italian, English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • 4 Deleted scenes
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Interviews
  • Storyboards

The Sixth Sense

Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 103 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

"I see dead people".

There is no mistaking a classic when you see one and with the Sixth Sense climbing into the top 10 box office moneymakers of all time, everyone else seems to agree with that assessment too. Director M. Night Shyamalan has crafted one of the most ingenious plots for a horror/suspense movie of recent times.

Young Cole Sear has a secret; He sees dead people. The problem though is that he can't tell anyone about his secret for fear of what they would think of him. This curse has him cast out as the freak at school and his mother Lynn (Toni Collette) doesn't realise what is truly wrong with ther son.

Child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) takes on Cole's case and is determined to help him. How is Malcolm to help someone who tells him that he sees ghosts when Malcolm himself cannot contemplate what this child must be experiencing? Together they form a bond and soon discover just how to deal with the ghosts that Cole is in touch with.

But Cole knows more than we are lead to believe and here lies the beauty of this movie.

  Video
Contract

Visually the transfer is pretty good but for some minor misgivings. The image produced is highly detailed due to a more than adequate use of edge enhancement that becomes very apparent in some scenes. There is enough sharpness in the image to make many a large screen TV owner happy. But it does suffer from some scenes being softer than I would have liked and the edge enhancement makes the grain in the print become all the more apparent.

Given the tone of the film, the palette is subdued giving the image a flat appearance. Don't worry, this is how the movie was presented in the cinemas and has nothing to do with the transfer itself. As an example, one of the more symbolic colors used in the movie, red, really stands out in comparison to the muted tone.

The outdoor bright scenes have a decent amount of contrast in them to produce a very defined image whilst the indoor and night scenes have good blacks but not quite as deep as I would have liked. Shadow detail is good and you won't have any trouble making out anything or anyone during such scenes.

The only quibble I do have is that I felt the flesh tone hue to be a little off and rich at times.

  Audio
Contract

I have to say that this 'simple' soundtrack is magnificent and does the film justice. If done right, a films score can conjure such eerie anticipation of what is to come that when it does, the climax to the scene is enhanced.

While limited in its use of cheap scares and deep bass, the soundtrack provided is so eerie at times that almost anything could trigger a reaction. Surround usage is subdued but always present and provides for an accompanying chilling echo of hushes, whispers, breathing and the musical score itself.

Dialogue is the key to this movie and it is well balanced througout. At the times when the score does come to the fore and any supporting effects are emphasised, the dialogue is always intelligible. This is a perfect soundtrack.

  Extras
Contract

We are blessed with all but one of the extras found on the region 1 release in that we miss out on the hidden feature of M. Night Shyamalans first movie. I went through each title on this disc to see if I may have missed it but could not find any trace of it. From the reports I've heard and the reviews I've read, it doesn't seem to be a major loss.

What we do have is an extensive array of interviews and explanations to the movies success.

  • Storyboard to Film Comparisons - Shyamalan explains to us the scene in the restaurant, how he had initially storyboarded it and how he executed it on film. Of note is that he kept true to the storyboard that he created for the whole movie, way before he began filming any scene.
  • The Cast - Interviews with the cast and crew about hey they went about selecting them.
  • Music and Sound Design - James Newton Howard (Composer) talks to us about his choice of music for the film. We also begin to understand how sound was NOT used to create the eerie silence and how breathing is used throughout the movie and disguised with the actual score to create those "prickly things on the back of your neck". Certain key scenes are also played back without any dialogue so that we can enjoy the craftfulness of the score and effects.
  • Reaching the audience - Shyamalan and his crew talk about how they went from idea to film and how all things fell into place from casting to distributor to release date. Shyamalans timeline synopsis toward the end is eerie in itself.
  • Rules and Clues - If you saw the Sixth Sense in the cinema, you would have gone back to see it again and try to pick out any flaws. The crew knew this and made a set of rules and clues to keep the story true to its excellent ending. Do NOT watch this extra or any of the extras first if you have not seen the movie first.
  • Deleted Scenes - Here we have 4 scenes that were cut out so as to not confuse the audience more than they need to be. The last scene deleted was an extended ending with Shyamalan talking about how each scene would have fit in to film.
  • Conversation with M. Night Shyamalan - Shyamalan talks about his life, how he grew up and how he got into film-making. He seems to be a great guy and really enjoys choosing to become a film-maker rather than becoming a doctor as the rest of his family has become.
  • Publicity - One theatrical trailer and 2 tv spots greet us in this section.
  • Film-makers and Cast - Very detailed notes about alot of the cast and crew involved with the sixth sense.

So there you have it, a very good collection of extras.

  Overall  
Contract

This is THE must see movie of the 90's but the style of movie that it is will only really draw a second viewing for the curious because once the secret is revealed, it is very hard to go back in and expect to feel the same way upon your first viewing.

That said it becomes hard to recommend buying the dvd given it's limited re-watch value but it becomes easier with the abundance of extras included to compliment it.

If you haven't seen it yet, DO SO NOW. The secret won't be a secret forever.


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