We Only Have Ourselves to Blame

I actually considered going to see The Visit. Yeah, it’s come to this. The dead space between the summer blockbusters and Oscar season is not a good time for movie lovers. Every once in a while an interesting film is slotted into this time period, but Goodnight Mommy isn’t playing at a theatre near me.

It’s easy to take shots at M. Night Shyamalan. In some ways, it’s the national pastime of film fans and critics. Here’s a guy who made a few good movies, then had the moniker of “The Next Spielberg” thrust upon him. What has he done for us lately? He’s a three hit wonder and unfortunately for him, those were his first three films. He didn’t even have the decency to spread them out over the past decade and a half. If he had, he would be considered inconsistant, and maybe some of the vitriol would be tempered.

It has been said that Britons like to build people up just so they can knock them back down. In America, we like to build people up, then complain when they don’t give us exactly what we desire. I have heard claims that Shyamalan is an arogant so and so who thinks his feces has no aroma. I have no idea, because I haven’t read any interviews with him, or articles about him since The Sixth Sense.

Speaking of which, I think The Sixth Sense was a very good movie, but I didn’t feel like it was all that. Maybe it’s because I have seen so many Alfred Hitchcock films, or maybe it’s because I have a huge blind spot when it comes to plot twists and therefore I am easily surprised. Since it doesn’t take much to put one over on me, I don’t venerate filmmakers who have that ability.

Except for Hitchcock. And Bryan Singer. And a few others. What I am saying is: these directors craft great films that have “twists,” as opposed to creating a twist and trying to reverse engineer a film around it. I have no clue as to what Shayamalan’s process is; but I can guess.


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