October 27, 2016
        "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars        

What “The Sixth Sense” remakes have gotten wrong about its finale

HollywoodNews.com: With Dream House opening today, sans press screenings, audiences will get a chance to discover, if they choose, just how much of the film has been spoiled by the trailer. Early reviews indicate that the movie is both stunningly boring and basically a hodge-podge of classic twist ending cliches.

While it’s fashionable to blame The Sixth Sense for the last ten years of last-minute ‘gotchas!’, the would-be thrillers that have followed in M. Night Shyamalan’s footsteps missed a crucial distinction. The last minute reveal that closes The Sixth Sense isn’t really the finale of the film. It’s not a big zinger that the entire movie revolves around. The movie, at its core, is a human drama about a troubled young boy and his struggling single mother. With painfully good work by Haley Joel Osment and Toni Collette (both of whom damn-well should have won Oscars) and a genuinely sympathetic and thoughtful screenplay by M. Night in his prime, the climactic reveal, and really all of the supernatural material is merely a means to an end. It is, to paraphrase one of the film’s last lines, always second to the heartbreaking human drama.

The movie doesn’t climax with the revelation about Bruce Willis’s ultimate fate. It truly climaxes one scene earlier, as mother and son finally open up to each other and reach an understanding that will truly strengthen their relationship. The emphasis on character over thrills and chills is among a handful of reasons why The Sixth Sense is still a masterpiece and one of the best films of the 1990s. The scene above, the true finale to The Sixth Sense, is probably the best thing M. Night Shyamalan has ever filmed, and it is one of the main reasons I still haven’t given up on him.

Photo by Universal Pictures

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About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

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