Sure, it helped that it was a good, spooky movie. But the reason The Sixth Sense became a word-of-mouth phenomenon is the Twilight Zone twist in its tail. If it hadn’t been spoiled for you by loudmouth friends or stone-hearted critics, that climactic double whammy made Sense an exhilarating theatrical experience, pulling the rug out from all you had seen and goosing audiences into communal cries of revelation.
So why would you want to watch the thing all over again on video? Well, there’s the simple pleasure of revisiting Haley Joel Osment’s deeply empathetic, eerily precise performance as the kid who sees dead people. There’s Bruce Willis working with a palette of muted grays and blues as his therapist. And it’s a second-glance treat to catch the little clues that writer-director M. Night Shyamalan strews throughout the picture — clues that almost counterbalance the rather large plot holes that appear once you know what’s up. Then again, you may be among the few people who haven’t yet seen The Sixth Sense. In which case (spoiler alert!), you surely won’t mind my telling you what millions already know: that Willis’ character is actually a woman. A-
WHAT WE SAID THEN: ”This twisty ghost story…[is] a psychological thriller that actually thrills.” B+ — Lisa Schwarzbaum