The Sixth Sense (20th Anniversary)

Tuesday was the 20th Anniversary of the Sixth Sense, and in honor of this momentous event, I decided to watch it… for the second time, ever.

Crazy, I know. I had only seen The Sixth Sense once before now, and that was just last month. Prior to this year, I had never seen the film. Of course, I knew and could quote the iconic line, and I had a vague concept of the premise from mentions of it over the past two decades. But when the film first came out in August of 1999, I was only five years old- way too young for my mother to allow me to watch it. By the time I was old enough, everyone had either already seen it or didn’t care anymore, so I was only rarely reminded of its existence and was never convinced that I had truly missed out on anything.

Boy, was I wrong, and boy, do I regret not getting around to watching it sooner.

While the Eighties is my decade of choice when it comes to films of almost any genre, there are a few Nineties gems that are too good to ignore. (The Silence of the Lambs, Fight Club, The Big Lebowski, Scream, Dumb and Dumber, Starship Troopers, Waynes World… okay, so more than a few.) And while it should have been on my list years sooner, The Sixth Sense is now near the top.

It is just so unbelievably good, and watching it twice in the span of just a few weeks really made that clear. The first time I watched it, I did so with almost no expectations or preconceived opinions. I knew to expect that one iconic line, and I knew there was some sort of plot twist people had talked about, but I didn’t know when Cole would utter those chilling words and I couldn’t remember what the twist actually was. So it was, in essence, a new movie to me.

At first, I questioned if it was even really a horror movie. The first act was certainly serious, but it wasn’t scary. And while Cole definitely appears to be a little strange, he’s too precious to be creepy. But then that infamous line hits, and shortly after, things get very very real.

Now, I’ve never seen a ghost. I know that there are a wide variety of beliefs when it comes to the paranormal and supernatural, and that everyone has different experiences and are entitled to their own opinions.  I tend to believe that almost anything is possible or plausible, but like to see evidence before I believe that it is truly real. And while I’ve never seen a ghost (at least, as far as I know), I’ve felt and experienced things that I can only chalk up to the paranormal or supernatural (or, as a potential alternative for the more rational, maybe a temporary imbalance of the senses).

But if I were to see a ghost, I think I would want it to be from a great distance and as a grown adult, more capable of emotionally processing those experiences and, oh I don’t know… running from them. NOT in the hall of my home or school and as a precious, innocent child. That poor, sweet child.

The Sixth Sense gets downright creepy in the best way, but it still manages to break through the eerie tensions with deeply emotional and truly tragic moments. While some of these ghosts will scare you, they come with stories that will break your heart. You’ll want to run and hide from them, but then you’ll want to hug them, or wish you could go so far as to rewind time for them.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m sure- no movie gets me like a visceral horror. For many of the characters (and even us), this is a journey of realization and of healing. Malcolm Crowe and his wife, Cole and his mother (and her mother), an ill girl and her father, us and the potential horrors of the afterlife…

The Sixth Sense is, at its core, a horror film, but it cuts much deeper and brings healing with the pain. And it’s so brilliantly written, as I fully realized the second time around. Watching it more closely with the major plot twist at the forefront of your mind is a wild experience, noticing all the subtleties that were previously missed.

If, like me, you waited way too long to watch The Sixth Sense, I encourage you to grab a friend (and maybe a tissue) and give it a try while it’s on Netflix. Or if you’ve seen it before, whether one time or six, watch it again in honor of it’s anniversary. It has stood the test of time and deserves another dozen decades of appreciation.

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// GEEK :
(noun) obsessive enthusiast, or (verb) be or become extremely excited or enthusiastic about a subject

// ABOUT :

Morgan of House Geek, First of Her Name, Mother of a Ton of Funkos, Collector of Things, Writer of Stories, Designer of Websites, Watcher of Films, and Player of Games.

INTJ. Libra-Scorpio Cusp. Slytherin.

Jack of all trades, master of none.

// FUN FACT :

I prefer purchasing trades & volumes more than single issues. I find them to be more durable, so I can enjoy them more and they can easily stand on my display shelves without boards.

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