M Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense came out during a remarkable year for movies in 1999. The Matrix. The Blair Witch Project. Fight Club. Magnolia. Many thought ’99 would be a big watershed year for a new breed of great filmmakers, Shyamalan included, but like the Wachiowskis, the guy indeed had what Grantland has called “an epic losing streak” where he alienated his audience with increasingly lackluster movies, culminating with the gigantic sci-fi bomb After Earth, as well as his gigantic ego.
Now the guy has Wayward Pines, a ten episode series that looks a lot like Twin Peaks, which was supposed to have a big comeback as well, but got stalled when David Lynch left the project. So does the guy have any hope for a comeback, or will he be in bad movie jail for eternity?
Well, maybe. Slate Magazine called Pines “riveting,” The Atlantic called it “twisty satisfaction,” and the Washington Post called it an “addictive new effort.” Most of the reviews are indeed pretty positive so far, and perhaps the guy could indeed have a comeback on the small screen, which provides much better storytelling these days than the big screen anyways.
And of course, several reviews of the show had to make the joke that the big twist here isn’t that everyone on the show is dead, a la The Sixth Sense, although the show apparently will have some twists and turns for sure. So with The Sixth Sense ancient history to today’s generation, maybe Shyamalan can rebuild himself for a whole new audience. As long as he can provide some really good surprises and doesn’t get carried away with himself, maybe he’ll indeed have a nice comeback after all.