Seeing dead people and raking in hundreds of millions aren’t the only things writer-director M. Night Shyamalan is famous for. Shyamalan is also famous for creating movie parts for Bryce Dallas Howard, Bruce Willis and Joaquin Rafael Bottom aka, Joaquin Phoenix.
Shyamalan became famous when he made a boy actor named Haley Joel Osmet see the dead in The Sixth Sense, followed by allowing Samuel L. Jackson to roll around in a wheelchair sporting a crazy hairdo in Unbreakable. In his next movie, Signs, he incited aliens to land in corn fields so that Mel Gibson could find God again. His follow up big budget movies, The Village and Lady in the Water, contained not only good acting and Bryce Dallas Howard, but also his Hitchcock trademark cameo appearances and visual silence.
Unfortunately, this was not enough to make his financiers and the critics happy and they wanted more money and less art. Shyamalan has been called the next Spielberg by Newsweek magazine but some were quick to point out he is not Jewish but Indian. Shyamalan was nominated for an Oscar as Best Director for The Sixth Sense and this has attracted critics and high expectations. M. Night uses very little violence, nudity, sex and explosions to entertain and instead uses camera angles, silence, and plots with a twisted knot. This may not be the recipe to please the fast-food public.
On Friday June 13th, Shyamalan’s The Happening will be released and critics are waiting to either jump on his bandwagon or on his head again. From the trailers, release date, and tag line I can only imagine The Happening will either grip us or let us go. There will be no middle road.