M. Night Shyamalan's masterpiece mystery delivers haunts and a brilliant twist that launched him into the mainstream. The story of young Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) and his child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) take a spooky turn as Cole's secret is revealed. The movie begins with Dr. Crowe celebrating with his wife over an award for his work with children. A former patient with continuing difficulties breaks in and shoots Crowe before killing himself.
The failure of this patient sparks Crowe's interest in young Cole as they suffer from similar ailments. Cole is believed to be schizophrenic as he is often seen talking to himself and surround by other weird patterns of behavior. He also has trouble in school and appears to obtain knowledge that should otherwise be a secret. These problems result in him being isolated and having to pay a fellow student Tommy (Trevor Morgan) to be his friend.
Cole's mother Lynn Sear (Toni Collette) is increasingly worried about her son's behavior but is at a loss as to how to help him. She continuously finds troubling signs including strange lights in the picture and angry writing about violence. She tries to keep it together as strange activity happens all around their house that seems to be caused by Cole even though he appears to be such a soft-spoken child.
Shyamalan knows how to dole out information at a steady pace and keep the mystery from growing stale and the film to feel slow. Interspersed with developments in the plot are haunting scenes and as Cole famously reveals that he sees dead people and explain the rules of his sixth sense to Dr. Crowe, the haunting increase to a terrifying point. Finally, Willis's character learns how to help Cole and then the shocking twist is revealed.
If you haven't seen this movie then it is likely that the twist has already been spoiled for you in one sense or another. I remember seeing this film in theaters when I was only 12 years old and it was one of the most intense cinema experiences in my life. Over the years I have enjoyed revisiting it to observe the masterful storytelling and the delivery of such a plot twist. From then on I was an M. Night Shyamalan fan and have followed his career closely. I was disappoint in several of his films but still look forward to his latest.