#WTF!?: Why All the M. Night Shyamalan Hate?

Writer and director M. Night Shyamalan was once deemed as the modern day Alfred Hitchcock when he busted onto the scene with The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs. Fast forward to today and he’s one of the most hated on directors in all of Hollywood — next to Uwe Boll. So, I have to ask… what the fuck!?

1999: A thriller titled The Sixth Sense starring Bruce Willis and hopeful child talent Hayley Joel Osment is released in theaters to critical and commercial success, jump-starting M. Night Shyamalan’s career. The film stands with an 85% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and earned over $600 million at the box-office worldwide. To top this off, the film received 6 Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture).

2000: M. Night releases his follow-up film Unbreakable, a film that asks the question, “what if Superman existed, but didn’t know what he was capable of?” Hardly garnering the success of Sixth Sense (only earning $240 million worldwide and 65% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) this is easily his best work to date with fantastic performances from Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. This is one of my favorite films of the past decade.

2002: M. Night tries to return to the well with Signs, a sci-fi thriller about an impending alien invasion starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix, a film that stands a few steps below Unbreakable, but isn’t half as bad as it’s made out to be. Yes, there are flaws and ludicrous aspects to the story (mainly the aliens’ weakness). Yes, there is an unnecessary amount of humor placed about, but neither of these faults weigh the movie down enough to take away the enjoyability of it all.

2004 – 2006: Within these two years, M. Night released The Village and Lady in the Water, two films that were falsely advertised, resulting in an initial hatred towards the films. While I don’t believe The Village is that great of a movie, like Signs it gets more shit than it deserves. Had this movie had been advertised as a romantic thriller with a neat little twist to it the whole thing would have played over far better than it did. Instead, the marketing team decided to trick the audience into believing this was a straight horror film.

I can understand the hatred towards Lady in the Water. Easily his most flawed and worst effort (at the time). Again, though, the movie receives much more bashing than necessary.

2008: By this point, M. Night’s name has been tarnished in the film community by his last three releases. Why in god’s name he released The Happening next is beyond me. Hands down one of the worst films I’ve ever sat through. This movie was so bad that I even jumped on the M. Night hate bandwagon for a period of time.

With the release of his upcoming The Last Airbender I’ve taken the time to go back and re-watch all of these films (excluding The Happening, never again) which sparked my interest in using this as my first entry in my new column. M. Night has two fantastic entries under his belt, two decent, one medicore, and one terrible. In my opinion, The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable — mainly Unbreakable — hold him high enough to not be considered a “hack”, as so many have referred to him as.

His writing is easily his weakest talent and I — like so many others, wish he would simply put down the pen and take on directing full-time. I’m not trying to force anyone in believing that M. Night Shyamalan is a great film director. I just don’t understand why of all the directors out there in the world, he gets as much shit as he does. So, I have to ask… what the fuck? – Fred Lozano

5 Responses to “#WTF!?: Why All the M. Night Shyamalan Hate?”
  1. He started off really promising but then went gradually downhill. You’re right that if he just stopped writing the scripts and actually focused on the directing that he’d make better movies. But I don’t hate him!

  2. Jovan Campbell says:

    I will never waste another second in life watching a movie made by him. I am a very big fan of “The Last Airbender” series. The way he cast this movie makes me want to smash his head into a brick wall.

    I am making it my personal business to make sure everyone I know doesn’t spend one cent on this movie.

    I will tell him this to his face. M. Knight Shamascam should be slapped.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you’d seen the original Avatar: The Last Airbender series, then you too would pray for Shyamalan to retire for life.

    I have never, ever, EVER seen an adaptation so bad. The Dragonball movie is a masterpiece when compared to Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender. He BUTCHERED the original series.

    I’m fairly tempted to send him hate mails at this point.

  4. Anuraj says:

    Let’s stop night shyamalan from making movies…lets give him a 1 rating on imdb for his new movie before it is released!

  5. Connie says:

    Many of his fans and non fans don’t understand why he chooses to be so commercial with his films especially The Last Airbender movie considering it would not have been made without minority fan base that was able to keep the beloved animated series so popular (which eventually became a success with non asian audiences as well). I used to like his movies, especially Unbreakable. I didn’t think The Happening was too terrible of a movie, I like the shock value and mystery. I agree, he has better direction than writing. He should do what his idol Spielberg does, have someone else write for him.

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