Sixth Sense Review Controlled Assessment

1447 words - 6 pages

And the Oscar goes to ...view middle of the document...

There is something horror films can do that no other kind of film can: they can speak to us on a psychological level some dramas only wish they can achieve. M. Night Shyamalan takes advantage of this, and uses the horror genre to subvert our expectations. We expect to be scared, and while screaming, we are touched by the sad events that occur to the main characters in Shyamalan's film. 

The Sixth Sense was released in 1999, and spent five weeks as the No. 1 film at the U.S. box office. It had a worldwide gross of an astounding $672,806,292.
It is a combination of the psychological and horror genre. There are moments when viewers are touched by the emotional ...view middle of the document...

How can anyone help defeat the problems of such a disturbed child?

The special effects used, in my opinion, are very subtle. I really like the fact that Shyamalan doesn’t allow the special effects to take control of the movie. He keeps the focus on the human element-the boy and his psychiatrist. Comparing this to a film like The Haunting is very different. The Haunting went for many different computer generated effects. However, The Sixth Sense connects its horror with things that we, as the audience, are more familiar with; that makes it a considerable amount scarier. I found one of the most terrifying parts being, when you see a shadowy figure moving across the wall as Cole goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night. At this point the audience are thinking: “Who was that?” “Why is there someone else in the house while everyone is asleep?” “How did they get inside?” “When did they come in?” “What do they want?” While watching, you automatically put yourself in the other person’s footsteps. You know you aren’t alone; and there’s someone else there. What do you do? This makes the audience feel extremely vulnerable and quite intimidated. When I watched this I was full of fear, but also at the same time I was full of hope. I was terrified, not knowing who it was and what they were going to do, but on the other hand so hopeful because I didn’t want anything to happen to Cole.

In my view, most of the special effects are used on sound. Many parts of the film create tension naturally using diagetic sound. A very effective way is simply, silence. (Remember, sometimes less is more!) When there is no sound, just complete silence, all you can hear is the sound of someone breathing, your natural instinct would tell you automatically that something is about to jump out at you. I think this is really effective because you don’t know what it will be, how loud it will be, or when it will happen. This builds up adrenaline without you even realising, it also keeps the audience on the edge of their seats because they have no idea what’s just around the corner. In other parts, non-diagetic sound is used, meaning there have been sounds effects added to the background. This can also have the same impact on the audience, building up tension. This can happen by using a crescendo; this is when a certain sound gets from quiet to very loud and sometimes from slow to fast.

A variety of camera angles have been used in The Sixth Sense. Shyamalan has included 2 person shots, close ups and also medium shots. He has used the close up shot in the scene where Cole is at school and is continuously screaming to his teacher “STUTTERING STANLEY, STUTTERING STANLEY, STUTTERING STANLEY, STUTTERING STANLEY!” I think it was a good choice to use a close up for that scene, mainly because you can see the emotion on Coles face and how he’s feeling. He seems to be completely oblivious to what around him: his class mates and his...

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