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The Suspense In The Sixth Sense

3521 words - 14 pages

The Suspense In The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense is a psychological thriller. It follows a very simple
set of conventions that are associated with all psychological
thrillers. The hero or anti-hero is always present in psychological
thrillers and is there for the audience to relate to. Vulnerable
characters are often depicted as small children. Children are seen as
innocent and un-knowing, it is easy for the audience to be aware of
what the children are going through as they were all one once.
Suspense is always built up with dramatic and scary music. Using this
convention allows the audience time to realise that something is going
to happen. When the audience views a psychological thriller they
immediately expect to see these conventions appear throughout the
film. They know that if they go and see this genre of film that they
are going to be held in suspense and that many of the characters will
have to face dangerous or unusual situations.

Many films fall into the genre of Psychological thriller. These have
proved to be very successful and have had a very good audience
reception. Many thrillers are also crossed with the horror genre, e.g.
What Lies Beneath, Sleepy Hollow and The Haunting. The film that I
think is most closely connected to the Sixth Sense is The Hand That
Rocks The Cradle. This also contains the very important convention
audience foreknowledge, which is a defining aspect of many thrillers.
The Hand that Rocks The Cradle was popular because all the way through
the movie the audience knows whom the nanny is and it is just a matter
of waiting to see how she seeks her revenge.

The audience foreknowledge in the Sixth Sense is Cole Sear - Haley
Joel Osment can see ghosts. It is not until half way through the film
that the characters around Cole also realise that he can see ghosts,
The people closest to him (his mother) should be the ones to realise
he is having problems and so this adds to the effect that Cole is
experiencing horrible things. This convention is particularly
important when trying to show suspense. Filmmakers are always very
happy to accept psychological thrillers because they are usually
always popular e.g. The Thing, Scream Trilogy, Alien and Vertical
Limit.

The Sixth Sense is a psychological thriller about a young boy who can
see ghosts and the doctor who is helping him. As the movie progresses
it is able to show why the doctor is helping the boy and why the child
can see the ghosts. The Sixth Sense was a huge success for a director
who had not been marked as one of particular importance. M. Night
Shyamalan had previously only directed short films, but had started to
come into the mainstream with his second feature length film Wide
Awake. The Sixth Sense had a huge box office success all over the
world and after being nominated for 6 Academy...

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