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Teen Movie Critic - II

The Sixth Sense



The Sixth Sense
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Recently, I've been disappointed by several so-called "thrillers". The string of boring thrillers began, as far as I can trace it, with The Mummy. Next came The Haunting, then Lake Placid, closely followed by The Blair Witch Project.

The newest addition to this list is The Sixth Sense. Chalk up another one to Hollywood's evident opinion that moviegoers are, for the most part, a nervous, paranoid lot of wimps who will freak at the slightest scare in a movie. They must think the entire thriller-movie-going population needs nerve pills.

Bruce Willis stars as Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist. Early in the film, he is shot by a former patient whom he obviously failed to help. About a year later, he takes on a new patient - a little boy remarkably similar to the patient who shot him. It seems the kid sees dead people - ghosts if you will - walking around, and is able to communicate with them.

Willis is a talented actor, but if he thinks wearing the same pained expression through the whole movie makes him look like a caring doctor, he's wrong. He just looks like someone doing an antacid commercial.

The Sixth Sense isn't hopeless though. While slow moving, the plot does have a somewhat surprising end - some people will undoubtedly be shocked. The Sixth Sense plays more as a romance-drama type film than a thriller, however. This makes it yet another movie that was marketed badly.

I think I've identified a link between all these thrillers that don't thrill. All five films mentioned are either PG-13 or rated R only for language, not violence or gore. I'm not saying that a film needs buckets of blood or overdone, cheesy special effects to be thrilling, but I think too many movies are being "tamed down" these days. Producers targeting teen audiences realize that they'll make more money if their film is rated PG-13. And it doesn't help that the film industry has been cracking down so ridiculously hard on R rated films (carding at the movie theatre is insanity).

The result is more movies like The Sixth Sense: softened versions of potentially exhilarating horror films that fall flat. Sometimes, it takes a little justifiable blood and gore, violence, or other horror effects to make a movie gripping. And if a "thriller" doesn't fulfill its promise of suspense, thrills, or chills, I feel cheated.

My Rating = Two Stars

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