Posted on August 3rd, 2019 by Frederik

This week in August 20 years ago, a small independent horror film called “The Sixth Sense” became one of the biggest hits of the year, a classic masterpiece for cinema, and also the trajectory to create and maintain this website for the last 15 years. I feel incredibly old thinking that I was one of the many moviegoers 20 years ago, sitting in the audience and being stunned by the film’s twist ending. But even more so, I was stunned by Toni Collette. I had seen her for the very first time just mere weeks earlier when “Muriel’s Wedding” was shown on tv, and was delighted by her performance. So when the opening credits for “The Sixth Sense” rolled in the cinema, I thought, “I know that Toni Collette”. When the end credits rolled and the packed theatre was stunned by the film’s ending, I was (probably the only one) stunned where the heck Toni Collette was. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that the young woman playing Muriel was supposed to be the same actress playing the mother on the verge of a breakdown in “The Sixth Sense”. It was a total immersion into character, and I was hooked. Toni received an Academy Award nomination for her performance, which was a surprise back then because she hadn’t been nominated for any precedent awards – something I had hoped would repeat with “Hereditary” – but with or without awards glory (“The Sixth Sense” was nominated for 5 Academy Awards but went home empty-handed), the film stood the test of time and is a highlight in the CV of everyone involved.

For the film’s 20th anniversary, many outlets are writing about the film, reflecting on its impact and talking to its makers. Among the most insightful is Variety’s look back, in which director M. Night Shyamalan remembers Toni’s audition for the film and being hesitant to show it to Disney:

I had seen “Muriel’s Wedding” and Toni came in and her head was shaved, and I forget if it was for fun or if it was for a movie. She did such a beautiful job. I didn’t want to show the video to the studio for fear that they would be concerned with her appearance, and I said “I want to cast the woman from ‘Muriel’s Wedding’” and then Bruce backed me and said “Oh, I love ‘Muriel’s Wedding,’” so we kind of got it without the studio seeing the audition, and I was so lucky. Toni is actually wearing a wig throughout all of “The Sixth Sense,” and I think it’s a wig from “Velvet Goldmine.” We didn’t even have the wig! (M. Night Shyamalan, Variety, August 02, 2019)

Below is a list o annivery articles, to which I will add any articles that will be published over the course of the next week.

Related Articles:

Variety: ‘The Sixth Sense’ Turns 20: M. Night Shyamalan and Haley Joel Osment Tell All
The Chicago Tribune: “The Sixth Sense” at 20: M. Night Shyamalan’s breakout still stuns
The Independent: ‘I see dead people’: The Sixth Sense was both a blessing and a curse in disguise for M Night Shyamalan
The Hollywood Reporter: “I Wasn’t Bluffing”: M. Night Shyamalan Recalls ‘Sixth Sense’ Pitch and Frenzy That Followed