The Sixth Sense
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Sixth Sense can be found here.

After being shot by a former patient, child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) takes on the case of 9-year-old Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) who has many of the same problems as his ex-patient. In particular, Cole is scared, unliked by his classmates, and thinks of himself as a freak. As Cole and Malcolm get to know each other better, Cole finally tells his secret to Malcolm...

The Sixth Sense was written by Indian-American film director M. Night Shyamalan, although Shyamalan has admitted that "The Tale of the Dream Girl" episode (1994, season 3 episode 10) of Nickelodeon's science fiction/horror TV series Are You Afraid of the Dark? was an inspiration for the film.

In the original script, Vincent (Donnie Wahlberg) mentions that he just broke out of a mental hospital (and would, therefore, have no clothing other than a hospital gown) upon seeing a television broadcast earlier in the day showing Malcolm winning his award. Another theory is that Vincent was showing Malcolm the physical scars he received from his "experiences."

Shyamalan uses red for important scenes in all of his movies. Inside the door with the red door knob is Malcolm's (Bruce Willis) study room. As explained in the film, ghosts only see what they want to see. Malcolm therefore saw himself as being unable to open the door for no apparent reason. However, at the end we see that his wife Anna (Olivia Williams) has barricaded it with a table.

Following the play, Malcolm tells Cole that they've both said everything they needed to say and that they won't be seeing each other again. On the drive home, Cole and his mother Lynn (Toni Collette) are held up because of an accident. Lynn apologizes for missing the play, and Cole says that he's ready to tell her his secrets. He reveals that a lady died in the accident but that she's standing next to his window right now. He explains how he sees ghosts that talk to him and that ask him to do things. To make sure she believes him, he tells her how Grandma took the bumblebee pendant as well as some other things that only she would know about her childhood, all told to him by Grandma. The lines of communication now open between them, Cole and Lynn hug each other. Meanwhile, Malcolm goes home to find Anna asleep in a living room chair, their wedding video playing on the television. He tries talking to her as Cole suggested, and she responds without awakening, asking why he left her. At first, Malcolm doesn't know what she means. When she drops his wedding band on the floor, however, he remembers Cole telling him that he sees people who don't know that they are dead and realizes that Cole was talking about him. Suddenly, it all comes back how Vincent shot him in the abdomen, and he realizes that he died that night and that he's been hanging around out of a need to help someone but that it's now time to move on. After telling Anna that she was never second in his life and that he loves her, Malcolm wishes her a good night and leaves, passing on to whatever lies beyond death. In the final scene, Anna sleeps on while the wedding video plays out.

Yes. Director M. Night Shyamalan has a small part as a doctor to whom Lynn takes Cole to see when he suffers what appears to be a seizure after being locked in a dark closet while at a party.

As Cole explains partway through the film, the ghosts are not fully aware of their surroundings. Sometimes they're stuck acting out elements of their lives, or deaths. Malcolm Crowe seems to be more fully developed than some of the ghosts, but he also doesn't know that he's dead. He's not living through his life 24 hours a day like a living person would. Instead he sort of fades in and out at different times. So he takes his wife's silence (and her possible romantic interest in another man) as a sign of their failing marriage, not that he's dead. We see a direct reference to Malcolm's selective awareness in the climactic scene where he finally realizes he's dead. Throughout the movie, Malcolm has had difficulty opening the door to his basement office. Malcolm, and the viewer, initially think that the handle is merely stuck. But in the climactic scene, Malcolm realizes the truth, that he can't open the door because his wife has blocked it off with a table. He just never saw that before. In the film, we see a couple of scenes of Malcolm working in his office, but we never actually see him open the door and enter his office. That's because he doesn't do it. He just appears in the office when he needs to.


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