The latest from M. Night Shymalan, Knock at the Cabin, opens on Friday. It’s another apocalyptic horror film, one that could be intriguing. Shymalan has an interesting filmography to say the least. For this week’s Binge Watch, I’m looking at my five favorite Shymalan films. Films appear in chronological order.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
About: This wasn’t Shymalan’s first film, but it was the first to put him on the map. It was a sensation the year it was released and got everyone talking about that ending. It’s also a film that holds up, even despite the twist, as you can often pick up new things along the way. It was nominated for Best Picture and remains one of his most iconic films.
About: This is my favorite of Shymalan’s films. In it, Mel Gibson is a former minister who is going through a crisis of faith. As an alien invasion takes place, he’s forced to confront his fears and the loss of his wife—which caused his crisis of faith. Shymalan plays a small but crucial role in this one, and Joaquin Phoenix is great in a supporting role. This one always stirs me emotionally, and not because of the alien storyline.
Lady in the Water (2006)
About: this was about the time it seemed mass audiences had grown weary of Shymalan’s style of stories. People either liked this or they didn’t. I was moved by the story and the modern fairytale construction.
About: Shymalan didn’t direct this film, he crafted the screen story. It’s a film that appears to be one thing and slowly morphs into something else. I love Chris Messina in the lead role and I love that this is a beautiful and powerful story of forgiveness and redemption.
About: James McAvoy is chilling in this story of a monster and his captive. The way this one unfolds is captivating and the way it ties back to Unbreakable is fantastic. Sadly, the first and last film in the series don’t hold up. But this remains one of Shymalan’s better offerings.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.
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