m night shyamalan in his own movies

Today's focus: M. Night Shyamalan on the making of his newest film, And to be able to put out a new movie from your own script almost. In The Sixth Sense, the director plays Dr. Hill, a psychiatrist who talks to young Cole (Haley Joel Osment) after that horrifying birthday party. The young M. Night Shymalan, however, had different plans. At 8 years old he was given a Super 8 camera and almost immediately began making his own movies.
m night shyamalan in his own movies

M night shyamalan in his own movies -

The Real Reason M. Night Shyamalan Has Funded His Own Recent Movies

After starting his career in 1992, M. Night Shyamalan became a household name in 1999 with the runaway smash hit "The Sixth Sense," as did the writer-director's legendary penchant for twists both good and bad. As seen on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, his career has spanned everything from well-received movies both critically and financially like "Signs," "Split," and "Unbreakable" to those less well-loved and critical bombs like "The Happening," "After Earth," and "The Last Airbender." According to The Numbers, one of his biggest hits, "The Sixth Sense," generated a bombastic $672 million in worldwide box office sales while one of his biggest flops, "Lady In The Water," only earned $72.7 million (via The Numbers). 

Having been directly involved in the production of more than 16 movies and television shows, Shyamalan has had his fair share of hits and misses. According to a recent interview with Collider, he's actually funding his own movies these days. But why would such a recognized artist personally pay to produce his own movies in Hollywood, a place where almost no one does such a thing and movies can cost millions of dollars?

Источник: https://www.looper.com/617552/the-real-reason-m-night-shyamalan-has-funded-his-own-recent-movies/

It would be fair to say that despite working in a similar genre and having a propensity for making cameo appearances in many of his movies, filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan is no Alfred Hitchcock. That’s not to denigrate Shyamalan; he’s made some entertaining pictures, but he’s unlikely to reach the exalted status of the ‘Master of Suspense’, despite his best efforts.

Like Hitchcock, Shyamalan has also ventured into scripted television with the short-lived Wayward Pines (2015-16) and the current Apple+ psychological horror series Servant, which is picking up some of his best reviews to date.

To an extent the director is the victim of his own success, as the popularity of his breakthrough movie The Sixth Sense led him to attempt a version of its twist ending in almost all of his following pictures. Some have worked, others less so.

Critics have a point when they say that a fair few of the director’s films would work better as shorts or 30-minute TV episodes, as some feel a trifle overextended.

Shyamalan’s career was in steep decline by the time of 2006’s notorious flop Lady in the Water (an incomprehensible modern day mermaid fable full of ‘Scrunts’, ‘Narfs’ and ‘Eatlons’) and it was almost ten years before he enjoyed commercial and critical success again with The Visit (2015) and Split the following year.

His new movie, Old, hews to the high concept formula of Shyamalan’s previous work, concerning as it does a tropical beach where a vacationing family discover that they will age their full lives within one day if they stay there.

Here’s my selection of seven of M Night Shyamalan’s best motion pictures:

Split (2017) – Amazon Rent/Buy

If you’re a connoisseur of over-acting, Split is just the movie for you.

A ‘stealth sequel’ to the director’s earlier Unbreakable (due to an uncredited Bruce Willis cameo at the end), Split stars James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb/aka The Horde, an unfortunate dissociative identity disorder sufferer.

Crumb has 23 distinct personalities of all ages and both sexes, and the 24th, an inhumanly powerful entity known as ‘The Beast’. When The Beast is unleashed, all holy hell breaks loose.

Costing a paltry $9m, Split took in $279m in worldwide box office receipts, cementing Shyamalan’s career revival. McAvoy was praised for his performance as The Horde, although I personally felt that he could have dialled down the scenery chewing a scooch.

The Visit (2015) – Netflix, Amazon Rent/Buy

Shyamalan’s comeback movie was a box office smash, its tiny $5m budget reaping $99m at the box office.

The black comedy aspects of this found-footage horror represented a departure from the maestro’s usually rather po-faced fare, earning him rare critical plaudits.

Teenage siblings Becca and Tyler pay their first visit to their mother’s parents, who they have never met due to a falling out over their daughter’s marriage with her high-school teacher. ‘Nana’ and ‘Pop Pop’s remote farmhouse and strange rules (including a 9.30pm curfew, with no leaving the bedroom) soon puts the wind up the kids - and with good cause.

As with Split, Shyamalan’s employment of mental illness as a source of villainy could be seen by many as somewhat dubious.

Devil (2010) – Amazon Rent/Buy

Although directed by John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine), Devil is recognisably part of the Shyamalan oeuvre, as he both produced and wrote the story that Brian Nelson’s screenplay was based on.

A kind of horror movie take on Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Huis Clos (No Exit), Devil posits a scenario where five people are trapped in a lift - a former soldier, a mattress salesman, a security guard, a young woman, and an elderly woman.

Four of whom harbour guilty secrets. One of the five is the devil – but who?

Once again Shyamalan provides an apparently shock ending to the movie, although I suspect many will have already worked out the identity of the Fallen One.

‘L'enfer, c'est les autres' (Hell is other people), as Sartre said in Huis Clos.

The Village (2004) – Disney+, Amazon Rent/Buy

An idea that’s been cribbed recently for Antebellum (2021) and Alice, The Village attempts to convince us that the setting for the picture is an isolated community of Covington in rural 19th-century Pennsylvania.

Malevolent creatures stalk the woods surrounding the stockaded village, further cloistering the inhabitants from the outside world.

But is what is the unfathomable secret of Covington?

A game cast that includes Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Brendan Gleeson and Jesse Eisenberg do their best to sell Shyamalan’s deeply silly but still enjoyable yarn.

Signs (2002) – Disney+, Amazon Rent/Buy

A particularly barmy entry in the Shyamalan canon (rivalling The Happening’s ‘flower-power’ apocalypse), this alien invasion movie is an off the wall counterpart to Spielberg’s later War of the Worlds (2005), where this time the CGI aliens are defeated by humble H20 (and a trusty baseball bat) rather than the common cold in HG Wells novel.

The heavy-handed Christian subtext probably attracted Mel Gibson (who plays former pastor Graham Hess) to the project, together with the licence given to overemote throughout the picture.

That being said, there are some pretty effective scares in Signs when the Hess homestead is under siege by marauding extra-terrestrial critters.

As with the Martians in WOTW and the sniffles/man flu, one would think a basic reconnaissance of the planet by the aliens would have established that water covers 71% of the earth’s surface and that H20 makes up approximately 60% of humans.

And rainfall is frequent on some areas of Terra, especially where humanity tends to dwell.

Back to the drawing board then, alien chaps.

The pre-movie death by car accident of Hess’ wife Colleen was amusingly spoofed the following year by Charlie Sheen in Scary Movie 3.

Unbreakable (2000) – full movie available free to watch on YouTube, otherwise Disney+, Amazon Rent/Buy

Doing what it says on the tin, Bruce Willis is randy average Joe security guard David Dunn, who after an horrific train crash, discovers that he’s literally unbreakable – or as near as dammit.

Samuel L Jackson’s wheelchair bound comic-book fan Elijah Price (aka Mr. Glass) reveals the truth to Willis – that he’s a real-life superhero, possessing superstrength, near invulnerability and an evil-detecting form of ESP. When Dunn shakes Glass’s hand, the truth of the train crash is revealed…

Shyamalan attempted to forge his own Marvel style universe by bringing back Willis and Jackson’s characters to join James McAvoy in the underwhelming Glass (2019).

Sixth Sense (1999) – Amazon Rent/Buy

There are two ways to approach The Sixth Sense if you’ve already seen the picture before.

You either find something else to watch as you know the famous twist ending – or rewatch and pick up on all the clues Shyamalan has carefully laid out that you may have missed.

An understandably (in the context of the movie) hangdog Bruce Willis plays Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist with an interesting new client, Cole Sear (Seer?), a nine year-old boy (Haley Joel Osment) who can see ‘dead people’.

Источник: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/m-night-shyamalan-on-screen-seven-movies-worth-watching

As M. Night Shyamalan reveals new movie 'Knock at the Cabin,' here are his best twists, ranked

Every time a new M. Night Shyamalan movie is announced, movie fans scramble to guess what the filmmaker's latest twist ending will (or won't) be. That's definitley the case now with today's announcement of Knock at the Cabin, the upcoming sure-to-be-creepy film from the writer-director of Old and The Sixth Sense.

Beyond the title and the February 3, 2023 release date, however, nothing is known about the plot, though one could speculate that the titular cabin will be one of the "scary woods" variety. "Cabin" also implies that the filmmaker may also venture for the first time into slasher film territory, and add a potentially very bloody twist to his collection.

While Shyamalan's penchant for twists would become arguably his signature move as a filmmaker, it would also at times serve as a crutch. Thanks to the blockbuster success of Sixth Sense, audiences were “programmed” to not only expect a twist from subsequent Shyamalan efforts but to also do so with the impossibly high expectations of that effort to match (if not surpass) the standard set by Sixth Sense’s instantly-iconic finale. But that hasn’t stopped Shyamalan from churning out two decades' worth of twists to varying degrees of success. In honor of the Knock at the Cabin announcement, we’ve ranked every twist in every Shyamalan movie that has them.

**Spoiler Warning: If you haven’t seen these films, turn back now.**

10. The Happening (2010)

We’ll believe plants will become sentient and retake the earth before we’ll believe Mark Wahlberg as a science teacher, but that’s the plot of Shyamalan’s notorious misfire. It’s also the engine that fuels the film’s make-or-break twist: A sudden spike in suicides is revealed to have been caused by Earth’s plant life. Why? Because nature is trying to annihilate humanity before humanity can wipe out the world in an ecological disaster.

The Happening struggles from the jump to sell this premise and the uninteresting characters charged with executing it, which makes all the reasons why the ending fails to land all the more apparent.

09. Glass (2019)

Fans wanted to love this highly anticipated Unbreakable sequel, but huge chunks of it didn’t want to help audiences out — especially its climactic twists.

With Glass, Shyamalan creates a shared universe between Unbreakable and Split as he brings Mr. Glass, David, and Split’s The Beast together for an “epic” confrontation on a Blumhouse budget. Shyamalan’s latest twist centers on Sarah Paulson's Dr. Staple, who has the very specific psychiatric practice of treating people who believe they're characters in comic books. She has brought the three main characters together to a Philadelphia-based asylum to spark a good vs. evil brawl to satisfy her hidden agenda. It is then later revealed that Staple is a member of a Hellfire Club-style organization that suppresses and sometimes outright kills people with these abilities. An organization that holds meetings not in secret, but in crowded coffee shops during the middle of the day, with a never-ending roster of seemingly normal people working for them. 

The twist here ultimately falters because it requires too much buy-in from the audience that the film doesn’t set up to earn the intended payoff. Too many logic-breaking questions are raised by this out-of-left-field twist. For example: Why would a group this secret risk their plans being caught out in the open when a non-member happens to walk into their coffee shop meeting? Less a satisfying ending and more a tangential “Wouldn’t it be cool if...?” end tag, Glass is a movie nearly 20 years in the making that feels lost in its own narrative, which is all the more surprising and frustrating considering how well-structured and character-driven Unbreakable was.  

08. Lady in the Water (2006)

Lady in the Water cemented the filmmaker’s downturn from The Sixth Sense glory days. This one isn't even really a twist so much as it is an excuse for Shyamalan to cram in the most self-indulgent director cameo in movie history. 

The protagonists in this fantasy film discover that Bryce Dallas Howard's enigmatic waif has left a world of fables and entered ours by way of the pool in a crappy apartment complex. She seeks a genius writer whose work will inspire a future president and lead to humanity changing for the better. Naturally, that genius author is played by Shyamalan himself. *forehead desk*

07. The Village (2004)

The Village is a largely uneven film whose narrative is entirely designed in the service of a big twist that most of the film’s running time never fully earns. The final 15 minutes undo all of the creepy, slow-burn thriller’s goodwill when it is revealed that the mysterious “creatures” terrorizing a remote community of people clad in 19th-century attire are actually humans in disguise. They act as an invisible fence of sorts to keep the settlement’s 19th-century occupants from venturing past their village’s borders and discovering that they are not in the 19th century — they are actually living in the 21st century. 

The community, founded in the 1970s by college professors and medical professionals as some kind of social experiment, only exists as a period piece to “sell” the big modern-day swerve at the end. The Elders could create any narrative they want for those born into the community after their experiment started; they can play God and say the 19th century is really right now. They can wear modern clothes and have modern medicine so their residents don’t have to venture out when they need anything. By not doing that, they invite the very curiosity to step outside the community’s walls that they are trying to derail by using “monsters” wearing weird shroud-like blankets covered in pointy sticks. The period clothing and language are all a ruse destined to backfire, much like The Village’s ending. 

06. Devil (2010)

Directing (and derailing) Paramount’s The Last Airbender prevented Shyamalan from helming this overlooked and underrated horror film from Universal, but his signature narrative style is all over it.

Devil, written by Brian Nelson and based on a story by Shyamalan, centers on five strangers trapped in an elevator. Here, they slowly come to the terrifying realization that one of them is the Devil. This Agatha Christie-esque setup, complete with characters linked together by the sins of their past, boils over into a chilling climax. The twist here is that the Devil is revealed to be one of the passengers who died earlier in the film. Using a jump scare to deliver a plot twist is a somewhat inspired choice, and Devil keeps twisting the figurative knife with this moment by revealing why these passengers and their tragic connections were fated to meet in this particular elevator. The Devil’s reckoning leads to another stunning reveal: The elevator’s lone survivor (Logan Marshall-Green) is responsible for a hit-and-run that killed the family of the detective (Chris Messina) investigating that which put the life of his family’s killer in danger. 

05. Unbreakable (2000)

Shyamalan’s follow-up to The Sixth Sense was shrouded in mystery, thanks to a very effective marketing campaign — one that also hyped up the film’s “twist” to attract ticket-buyers who spent millions on Sixth Sense the summer before. That build-up ultimately did more harm than good for the film and its audience, as the final moments of this slow-burn superhero action drama all but fizzle as Jackson’s obviously nefarious character is revealed to be a murderous villain cutting a swath of tragedy across the world to find his purpose by way of finding his nemesis. 

Jackson’s Glass started out as an almost mentor figure to Bruce Willis’ superhero-in-training, and the reveal that “the good guy is actually the bad guy” lacks the dramatic punch the movie seems to be reaching for. Unbreakable culminates in the less-than-satisfying choice of using on-screen text as a coda to wrap up a story that deserved more. Or, at least, better. 

04. Signs (2002)

Assorted glasses filled with water. A baseball bat. “Swing away.” All of these elements serve as indicators of a greater destiny at play within Signs'alien invasion plot set on and around a remote Pennsylvania farmhouse. At the center of it all is a preacher (Mel Gibson) who has lost his faith after losing his wife to a tragic accident, and who risks losing his two small children and his brother (Joaquin Phoenix) to a mysterious alien threat slowly pushing its way through the farm’s cornfield and into our heroes’ living room. 

The preacher rediscovers his faith, though, thanks to the divine revelation that every moment surrounding his wife’s death and its aftermath has been setting the stage for a fateful showdown with... alien invaders. “There are no coincidences,” Gibson’s character tells himself. So that’s why his son has asthma  — it prevents the boy’s airways from taking in a dangerous aerosol released by an alien. His daughter’s water glasses scattered throughout the house? They are filled with the one thing that can hurt the aliens, and soon become weaponized with the help of a few swings from Phoenix’s baseball bat. (Why extraterrestrials would target a world covered in that which is their Kryptonite, however, is one question Shyamalan’s tense script doesn’t make time to answer.)   

03. The Visit (2015)

After nearly a decade of box office disappointments, M. Night Shyamalan rebounded with The Visit, a modest Blumhouse horror hit that proved surprisingly entertaining. Here, the writer-director doubles down on quality scares and creepy atmosphere instead of convoluted plot mechanics. All of this is in service of one hell of a gut punch: The Visit’s young children protagonists have increasingly disturbing experiences with their grandparents, only to discover that their elderly guardians are actually escaped mental patients and murderers.

02. Split (2017)

No one saw this coming.

For most of its runtime, Split seems like Shyamalan is subverting expectations by writing and directing a movie free of a twist ending (your mileage may vary on whether or not the reveal that protagonist Casey Cooke was also abused counts as a twist). Instead, he used an end-credits sting to drop one of his most unexpected, in a good way, swerves.

Split’s big shocker reveals that the horrifying split personality thriller is set in the Unbreakable universe. After The Beast (James McAvoy) becomes a wanted man, we find a man in a local diner ready to join the hunt for him: Bruce Willis’ near-invulnerable security guard, David Dunn. This jaw-dropping moment fueled Film Twitter for days, with Shyamalan doing his version of a Marvel-esque cinematic universe that did the unprecedented: Taking characters from one studio, Disney, Marvel’s parent company, and lending them to Universal and Blumhouse.

This revelation is all the more stunning when taking into consideration Disney let another studio help resurrect an almost 20-year-old movie — one that fell short of domestic box office expectations when it was released — and turn it into a potential franchise. Sadly, Glass’ negative critical reaction (and Shyamalan’s problematic script) made that shared universe short-lived.

01. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Shyamalan will likely never be able to top his work in The Sixth Sense.

One of the '90s’ biggest hits, this gripping, character-driven supernatural drama is the stuff of legend: A young boy who can see ghosts falls under the care of one of those spirits — a psychologist torn between letting go of his mortal existence and accepting his afterlife. It's not just the sheer novelty of this twist that makes it stand out, but the fact that Shyamalan spent the whole movie dropping clues and teasing the big moment without tipping his hat. Moreover, the ending satisfies the emotional themes Shyamalan’s landmark script meticulously set up. It invests us in the lives of Cole and his mother, two people haunted by ghosts both literal and figurative. They are able to achieve a level of catharsis at the hands of another ghost who is haunted by the wife he lost and the life he wishes he could have with her.

The Sixth Sense’s biggest achievement here is tying up all these loose threads without dropping any of them, and infusing them with the exact amount of “right-in-the-feels” energy they need. That, and not the actual twist, is why this movie is a classic.

Источник: https://www.syfy.com/syfy-wire/m-night-shyamalan-twist-endings-movies-ranked

M. Night Shyamalan's Films Ranked From Worst To Best

Fans of Shyamalan's work rejoiced when he finally made a sequel to his beloved Unbreakable...but the party was short-lived when we received the conclusion to his comic book trilogy. It was great to see Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis reprise their superhuman characters alongside James McAvoy, but the plot and conclusion just did not live up to the 20-year buildup.

The twist: Technically, the movie has three twists, all of them pretty unremarkable.  

One: Mr. Glass inadvertently created the Beast by causing the infamous train crash 20 years prior. 

Two: A secret organization has existed for years in order to cover up the existence of superhumans. 

Three: Mr. Glass had a contingency plan and posthumously exposes the world to video footage proving the existence of superheroes and villains. The world will never be the same.

Concept: 8/10     Twist: 5/10

Average score: 6/10

Источник: https://www.buzzfeed.com/dpleis/m-night-shyamalan-films-ranked

INTERVIEW: M Night Shyamalan On Devil

“It’s a great date movie,” reckons the man who’s written this stuck-in-a-lift-with-the-devil chiller

Devil , which is released tomorrow, is the first of three films going out under the umbrella banner The Night Chronicles which will all feature Shyamalan scripts directed by other filmmakers (the second, Reincarnate , about a haunted jury, was announced this week). SFX talked to Shyamalan about his new venture.

How did The Night Chronicles come about?

“I have a bunch of ideas when I decide to make a movie. I come up with more than one idea sometimes. Not often but sometimes. And I’ll outline, say, two, and I’m not sure which one I’m going to do. But then I’ll decide to go with one and in my mind I’m thinking, ‘I’ll do the other one next.’ But then one and a half years or two years later, when I’ve finished that movie, I just think of some other movie.

“So a few ideas became really fleshed out, and I kept thinking I was going to direct them, and I wanted to direct them, but I was never going to get round to it. Then I said, ‘Why don’t we make them, but I’ll get to some wonderful new filmmakers out there to make them?’ We’ll start a kind of group where we can talk about movies and learn from each other. It felt like a wonderful way to connect with cutting-edge filmmakers.

“So we set up the first three ideas. But it’s not a trilogy. Hopefully, it’ll be a series of movies that we’ll make over time, and these are the first three.”

But is there something more than that connecting them together?

“Basically they are stories that I come up with, and they are usually supernatural thrillers of some kind. That’s the commonality.”

Is the idea that you’ll work with different directors on each one?

“Not on every one. I would love to work with the Dowdles again, who did Devil . They were amazing. So I would bet they would show up again at some point.”

Devil is basically about a bunch of people stuck together in a lift which seems like a limiting setting. Did you deliberately set out thinking, “How can I make something like this into a full movie?”

“Not really. I’d never seen the idea of a movie primarily in an elevator. I just thought it was a cool idea, dealing with the phobia of being stuck in an elevator. I’m interested in phobias; why are we scared of certain situations? The idea of being in an elevator, then adding the horror that one of them in there is not who they say they are, it was a scary premise.”

How much of the film is set in the lift?

“I’m not sure screen-time wise. There is a lot of time spent with the people trying to get them out of the lift and save their lives. But it’s entirely set in one building. So it is claustrophobic.”

So the film sticks to its conceptual guns and doesn’t suddenly open out into a chase movie or Die Hard In An Elevator halfway through?

“Ha ha. No! But strangely, the Dowdles made it an incredibly muscular movie. They really brought that all on their own to the project. I think my original treatment was much more quiet and they brought this great muscularity to it. It feels very big.”

What do you mean by muscularity?

“It’s not talking heads. There’s a physicality to the movie, and the violence of what’s happening.”

What was like seeing somebody else direct your script? The last time that happened was Stuart Little.

“You know, it’s funny. I thought that would be an issue – would I feel emotionally bad? But I didn’t for one second have that feeling. I think primarily because I really, really respect these guys. I thought these guys were fantastic filmmakers and it would be great to work with them.

“I thought of myself more as a goalie. They referred to me as that once. I was there to help them out. They would be the ones playing the game, scoring, playing defence, doing all that, and I would be right back there to help them if anything got by them.”

You were a hands-off producer, then?

“I wasn’t hands-off so much. It was such an open, creative relationship. I really think they’re great, their point of view is inspiring to me, so every time they came up with something, it would always have merit to it. Even if we disagreed on something, they would always have a smart way of positioning their argument, and almost always I would go, ‘If you feel that strongly you should go for it.’

“It was an ideal relationship for my first time out with these movies, my first experience being on this side of it, producing. I would say, for sure, the golden rule is hire some people you respect.”

Do you have a sneaky cameo in Devil ?

“No. I would love to say yes, but no. One of these movies I would love to pop up in the background. But I don’t want to be a distraction, you know? Ideally if you do do it, it should do early in the movie and get out.”

For better or for worse, you’re known as the director who does the twists. Does it irritate you that there’s so much baggage that comes with your name?

“I guess it’s a learning process for me. I still don’t see myself the way other people see me. I don’t think like that. To me I still feel the same way I did when I was 21 and I just closed the door and thought up a story. Every time, I think of it as my first movie. I don’t think with any plot mechanisms or anything like that in mind. So it’s weird, because you don’t want to have, like, a calculating person in the room with you.

“But I like unexpected things to happen. And I also like simplicity. So I have those two things that interest me. And I like linear, clean stories as well.”

As a producer, what did it feel like being the man who had to look after the purse strings this time?

“Oh, I wouldn’t put it like that. I feel the same way about all my movies. Coming in on budget is critical. And being professional and honouring the people whose money we’re using, and making sure they get their money back and more is a sense of pride, almost irrational in me. It’s really important to me that I’m professional in that matter. Maybe it’s an immigrant thing!”

Finally, here’s your chance to really sell Devil to our readers. Why should we go to see it?

“I have a love of scary movies, where it’s grounded in a reality and the scares kind of stick to you. And I believe the Dowdles have achieved that with this movie. They have made one of those movies that is viscerally, intellectually and emotionally scary. Your heart is just pounding the whole time. You should definitely take a date because she’ll definitely grab you.”

Источник: https://www.gamesradar.com/interview-m-night-shyamalan-on-devil/

M night shyamalan in his own movies -

It would be fair to say that despite working in a similar genre and having a propensity for making cameo appearances in many of his movies, filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan is no Alfred Hitchcock. That’s not to denigrate Shyamalan; he’s made some entertaining pictures, but he’s unlikely to reach the exalted status of the ‘Master of Suspense’, despite his best efforts.

Like Hitchcock, Shyamalan has also ventured into scripted television with the short-lived Wayward Pines (2015-16) and the current Apple+ psychological horror series Servant, which is picking up some of his best reviews to date.

To an extent the director is the victim of his own success, as the popularity of his breakthrough movie The Sixth Sense led him to attempt a version of its twist ending in almost all of his following pictures. Some have worked, others less so.

Critics have a point when they say that a fair few of the director’s films would work better as shorts or 30-minute TV episodes, as some feel a trifle overextended.

Shyamalan’s career was in steep decline by the time of 2006’s notorious flop Lady in the Water (an incomprehensible modern day mermaid fable full of ‘Scrunts’, ‘Narfs’ and ‘Eatlons’) and it was almost ten years before he enjoyed commercial and critical success again with The Visit (2015) and Split the following year.

His new movie, Old, hews to the high concept formula of Shyamalan’s previous work, concerning as it does a tropical beach where a vacationing family discover that they will age their full lives within one day if they stay there.

Here’s my selection of seven of M Night Shyamalan’s best motion pictures:

Split (2017) – Amazon Rent/Buy

If you’re a connoisseur of over-acting, Split is just the movie for you.

A ‘stealth sequel’ to the director’s earlier Unbreakable (due to an uncredited Bruce Willis cameo at the end), Split stars James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb/aka The Horde, an unfortunate dissociative identity disorder sufferer.

Crumb has 23 distinct personalities of all ages and both sexes, and the 24th, an inhumanly powerful entity known as ‘The Beast’. When The Beast is unleashed, all holy hell breaks loose.

Costing a paltry $9m, Split took in $279m in worldwide box office receipts, cementing Shyamalan’s career revival. McAvoy was praised for his performance as The Horde, although I personally felt that he could have dialled down the scenery chewing a scooch.

The Visit (2015) – Netflix, Amazon Rent/Buy

Shyamalan’s comeback movie was a box office smash, its tiny $5m budget reaping $99m at the box office.

The black comedy aspects of this found-footage horror represented a departure from the maestro’s usually rather po-faced fare, earning him rare critical plaudits.

Teenage siblings Becca and Tyler pay their first visit to their mother’s parents, who they have never met due to a falling out over their daughter’s marriage with her high-school teacher. ‘Nana’ and ‘Pop Pop’s remote farmhouse and strange rules (including a 9.30pm curfew, with no leaving the bedroom) soon puts the wind up the kids - and with good cause.

As with Split, Shyamalan’s employment of mental illness as a source of villainy could be seen by many as somewhat dubious.

Devil (2010) – Amazon Rent/Buy

Although directed by John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine), Devil is recognisably part of the Shyamalan oeuvre, as he both produced and wrote the story that Brian Nelson’s screenplay was based on.

A kind of horror movie take on Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Huis Clos (No Exit), Devil posits a scenario where five people are trapped in a lift - a former soldier, a mattress salesman, a security guard, a young woman, and an elderly woman.

Four of whom harbour guilty secrets. One of the five is the devil – but who?

Once again Shyamalan provides an apparently shock ending to the movie, although I suspect many will have already worked out the identity of the Fallen One.

‘L'enfer, c'est les autres' (Hell is other people), as Sartre said in Huis Clos.

The Village (2004) – Disney+, Amazon Rent/Buy

An idea that’s been cribbed recently for Antebellum (2021) and Alice, The Village attempts to convince us that the setting for the picture is an isolated community of Covington in rural 19th-century Pennsylvania.

Malevolent creatures stalk the woods surrounding the stockaded village, further cloistering the inhabitants from the outside world.

But is what is the unfathomable secret of Covington?

A game cast that includes Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Brendan Gleeson and Jesse Eisenberg do their best to sell Shyamalan’s deeply silly but still enjoyable yarn.

Signs (2002) – Disney+, Amazon Rent/Buy

A particularly barmy entry in the Shyamalan canon (rivalling The Happening’s ‘flower-power’ apocalypse), this alien invasion movie is an off the wall counterpart to Spielberg’s later War of the Worlds (2005), where this time the CGI aliens are defeated by humble H20 (and a trusty baseball bat) rather than the common cold in HG Wells novel.

The heavy-handed Christian subtext probably attracted Mel Gibson (who plays former pastor Graham Hess) to the project, together with the licence given to overemote throughout the picture.

That being said, there are some pretty effective scares in Signs when the Hess homestead is under siege by marauding extra-terrestrial critters.

As with the Martians in WOTW and the sniffles/man flu, one would think a basic reconnaissance of the planet by the aliens would have established that water covers 71% of the earth’s surface and that H20 makes up approximately 60% of humans.

And rainfall is frequent on some areas of Terra, especially where humanity tends to dwell.

Back to the drawing board then, alien chaps.

The pre-movie death by car accident of Hess’ wife Colleen was amusingly spoofed the following year by Charlie Sheen in Scary Movie 3.

Unbreakable (2000) – full movie available free to watch on YouTube, otherwise Disney+, Amazon Rent/Buy

Doing what it says on the tin, Bruce Willis is randy average Joe security guard David Dunn, who after an horrific train crash, discovers that he’s literally unbreakable – or as near as dammit.

Samuel L Jackson’s wheelchair bound comic-book fan Elijah Price (aka Mr. Glass) reveals the truth to Willis – that he’s a real-life superhero, possessing superstrength, near invulnerability and an evil-detecting form of ESP. When Dunn shakes Glass’s hand, the truth of the train crash is revealed…

Shyamalan attempted to forge his own Marvel style universe by bringing back Willis and Jackson’s characters to join James McAvoy in the underwhelming Glass (2019).

Sixth Sense (1999) – Amazon Rent/Buy

There are two ways to approach The Sixth Sense if you’ve already seen the picture before.

You either find something else to watch as you know the famous twist ending – or rewatch and pick up on all the clues Shyamalan has carefully laid out that you may have missed.

An understandably (in the context of the movie) hangdog Bruce Willis plays Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist with an interesting new client, Cole Sear (Seer?), a nine year-old boy (Haley Joel Osment) who can see ‘dead people’.

Источник: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/m-night-shyamalan-on-screen-seven-movies-worth-watching

M. Night Shyamalan's Films Ranked From Worst To Best

Fans of Shyamalan's work rejoiced when he finally made a sequel to his beloved Unbreakable...but the party was short-lived when we received the conclusion to his comic book trilogy. It was great to see Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis reprise their superhuman characters alongside James McAvoy, but the plot and conclusion just did not live up to the 20-year buildup.

The twist: Technically, the movie has three twists, all of them pretty unremarkable.  

One: Mr. Glass inadvertently created the Beast by causing the infamous train crash 20 years prior. 

Two: A secret organization has existed for years in order to cover up the existence of superhumans. 

Three: Mr. Glass had a contingency plan and posthumously exposes the world to video footage proving the existence of superheroes and villains. The world will never be the same.

Concept: 8/10  

In person, Shyamalan projects an arresting mix of innocence and self-assurance—the vibe of a “brilliant 11 year old,” as the actress Cherry Jones once described him (he’ll be 51 this year). He styles himself an auteur, mentioning “Hitchcockian wit” and “Lynchian oddness” as touchpoints, but his ultimate idol, he confirms, after I mention an apocryphal Internet quote he didn’t actually say, is Agatha Christie, doyenne of the English murder mystery. He saw in Sandcastle an appealing “Agatha Christie, Twilight Zone vibe,” he explains, cut with a “tongue-in-cheekiness” he loves, but that can sometimes puzzle others.

His first introduction to Christie came when he visited his cousins’ family home in India as a kid, and saw multiple spines of her books on the shelves. He admired her drive to write without stopping for breath or worrying about the reception of her work. (That those works became commercial successes even so—well, he can sort of relate.) Her productivity “came from her direct love of what she was doing as opposed to its ingestion in the world,” he says. “Yet, there’s such a reverence for her.” The expectation readers bring to her work also inspires him. Once he understood expectation as a part of his career too, he leaned into thrillers as his métier, honoring what others seemed to recognize as his offering to the world.

The Christie comparison had made sense to me when I discovered it, having myself grown up surrounded by her books, as a member of the Indian diaspora. Old, after all, involves a curated group of people who arrive at a contained space, a sunny vacation spot where some terrible evil, pregnant with lessons on human nature, awaits. The movie actually opens with a restaurant scene meant as a direct homage to Christie, with its careful introduction of each character to each other. I knew this set-up.

Shyamalan, of course, became a household name at 30, a purveyor of somewhat Christie-esque twist endings, first in The Sixth Sense, then Unbreakable and Signs, before critics and audiences turned against him with a derision that could seem curious. Quentin Tarantino deemed Unbreakable,“one of the masterpieces of our time,” right after blithely using what had become a widespread alternative coinage for the director’s name, “Shamalamadingdong.”

Much ink has been spilled decoding why his claim in particular to a seat at the table seems forever denied, his name kept off movie posters due to rumored fears from execs, his absence notable at Hollywood ceremonies, and in Hollywood itself (he lives in Pennsylvania). In 2016, a well-circulated lament at the website of the British Film Institute called him “a marked man, a divisive auteur at work within the mainstream, at once enormously successful and on the brink of failure, under constant attack….It’s hard to think of a more polarising recent filmmaker.”

Источник: https://www.gq.com/story/m-night-shyamalan-new-film-old

INTERVIEW: M Night Shyamalan On Devil

“It’s a great date movie,” reckons the man who’s written this stuck-in-a-lift-with-the-devil chiller

Devil , which is released tomorrow, is the first of three films going out under the umbrella banner The Night Chronicles which will all feature Shyamalan scripts directed by other filmmakers (the second, Reincarnate , about a haunted jury, was announced this week). SFX talked to Shyamalan about his new venture.

How did The Night Chronicles come about?

“I have a bunch of ideas when I decide to make a movie. I come up with more than one idea sometimes. Not often but sometimes. And I’ll outline, say, two, and I’m not sure which one I’m going to do. But then I’ll decide to go with one and in my mind I’m thinking, ‘I’ll do the other one next.’ But then one and a half years or two years later, when I’ve finished that movie, I just think of some other movie.

“So a few ideas became really fleshed out, and I kept thinking I was going to direct them, and I wanted to direct them, but I was never going to get round to it. Then I said, ‘Why don’t we make them, but I’ll get to some wonderful new filmmakers out there to make them?’ We’ll start a kind of group where we can talk about movies and learn from each other. It felt like a wonderful way to connect with cutting-edge filmmakers.

“So we set up the first three ideas. But it’s not a trilogy. Hopefully, it’ll be a series of movies that we’ll make over time, and these are the first three.”

But is there something more than that connecting them together?

“Basically they are stories that I come up with, and they are usually supernatural thrillers of some kind. That’s the commonality.”

Is the idea that you’ll work with different directors on each one?

“Not on every one. I would love to work with the Dowdles again, who did Devil . They were amazing. So I would bet they would show up again at some point.”

Devil is basically about a bunch of people stuck together in a lift which seems like a limiting setting. Did you deliberately set out thinking, “How can I make something like this into a full movie?”

“Not really. I’d never seen the idea of a movie primarily in an elevator. I just thought it was a cool idea, dealing with the phobia of being stuck in an elevator. I’m interested in phobias; why are we scared of certain situations? The idea of being in an elevator, then adding the horror that one of them in there is not who they say they are, it was a scary premise.”

How much of the film is set in the lift?

“I’m not sure screen-time wise. There is a lot of time spent with the people trying to get them out of the lift and save their lives. But it’s entirely set in one building. So it is claustrophobic.”

So the film sticks to its conceptual guns and doesn’t suddenly open out into a chase movie or Die Hard In An Elevator halfway through?

“Ha ha. No! But strangely, the Dowdles made it an incredibly muscular movie. They really brought that all on their own to the project. I think my original treatment was much more quiet and they brought this great muscularity to it. It feels very big.”

What do you mean by muscularity?

“It’s not talking heads. There’s a physicality to the movie, and the violence of what’s happening.”

What was like seeing somebody else direct your script? The last time that happened was Stuart Little.

“You know, it’s funny. I thought that would be an issue – would I feel emotionally bad? But I didn’t for one second have that feeling. I think primarily because I really, really respect these guys. I thought these guys were fantastic filmmakers and it would be great to work with them.

“I thought of myself more as a goalie. They referred to me as that once. I was there to help them out. They would be the ones playing the game, scoring, playing defence, doing all that, and I would be right back there to help them if anything got by them.”

You were a hands-off producer, then?

“I wasn’t hands-off so much. It was such an open, creative relationship. I really think they’re great, their point of view is inspiring to me, so every time they came up with something, it would always have merit to it. Even if we disagreed on something, they would always have a smart way of positioning their argument, and almost always I would go, ‘If you feel that strongly you should go for it.’

“It was an ideal relationship for my first time out with these movies, my first experience being on this side of it, producing. I would say, for sure, the golden rule is hire some people you respect.”

Do you have a sneaky cameo in Devil ?

“No. I would love to say yes, but no. One of these movies I would love to pop up in the background. But I don’t want to be a distraction, you know? Ideally if you do do it, it should do early in the movie and get out.”

For better or for worse, you’re known as the director who does the twists. Does it irritate you that there’s so much baggage that comes with your name?

“I guess it’s a learning process for me. I still don’t see myself the way other people see me. I don’t think like that. To me I still feel the same way I did when I was 21 and I just closed the door and thought up a story. Every time, I think of it as my first movie. I don’t think with any plot mechanisms or anything like that in mind. So it’s weird, because you don’t want to have, like, a calculating person in the room with you.

“But I like unexpected things to happen. And I also like simplicity. So I have those two things that interest me. And I like linear, clean stories as well.”

As a producer, what did it feel like being the man who had to look after the purse strings this time?

“Oh, I wouldn’t put it like that. I feel the same way about all my movies. Coming in on budget is critical. And being professional and honouring the people whose money we’re using, and making sure they get their money back and more is a sense of pride, almost irrational in me. It’s really important to me that I’m professional in that matter. Maybe it’s an immigrant thing!”

Finally, here’s your chance to really sell Devil to our readers. Why should we go to see it?

“I have a love of scary movies, where it’s grounded in a reality and the scares kind of stick to you. And I believe the Dowdles have achieved that with this movie. They have made one of those movies that is viscerally, intellectually and emotionally scary. Your heart is just pounding the whole time. You should definitely take a date because she’ll definitely grab you.”

Источник: https://www.gamesradar.com/interview-m-night-shyamalan-on-devil/

The Real Reason M. Night Shyamalan Has Funded His Own Recent Movies

After starting his career in 1992, M. Night Shyamalan became a household name in 1999 with the runaway smash hit "The Sixth Sense," as did the writer-director's legendary penchant for twists both good and bad. As seen on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, his career has spanned everything from well-received movies both critically and financially like "Signs," "Split," and "Unbreakable" to those less well-loved and critical bombs like "The Happening," "After Earth," and "The Last Airbender." According to The Numbers, one of his biggest hits, "The Sixth Sense," generated a bombastic $672 million in worldwide box office sales while one of his biggest flops, "Lady In The Water," only earned $72.7 million (via The Numbers). 

Having been directly involved in the production of more than 16 movies and television shows, Shyamalan has had his fair share of hits and misses. According to a recent interview with Collider, he's actually funding his own movies these days. But why would such a recognized artist personally pay to produce his own movies in Hollywood, a place where almost no one does such a thing and movies can cost millions of dollars?

Источник: https://www.looper.com/617552/the-real-reason-m-night-shyamalan-has-funded-his-own-recent-movies/

Oct 19, 2021
M. Night Shyamalan to Become Jury President of the Berlinale 2022

News Overview

Competition

Screenwriter, director and producer M. Night Shyamalan will serve as president of the International Jury at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival.

The successful American immigrant filmmaker originally from South Asia has been captivating audiences worldwide with his genre films over the past three decades. His breakthrough, the 1999 psychological thriller The Sixth Sense starring Bruce Willis, was the second highest grossing film of that year and received six Academy Award nominations. Today, Shyamalan remains one of the most recognised names in filmmaking.

M. Night Shyamalan

(Photo: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0)

As an original storyteller, Shyamalan focuses on thrillers that play with genre conventions. His use of supernatural elements often contrasts or combines with philosophical reflections of our own existence.

“I’m pleased and honored that M. Night Shyamalan has accepted our invitation to serve as president of the Jury. Throughout his career he’s shaped a universe in which fears and desires stand side by side, where young people are not only the protagonists but also the driving force for overcoming dread. Within the US movie business Shyamalan is a unique figure, a filmmaker that has remained faithful to his vision. This truthfulness to one’s ideal is also what we are looking for in our selection,” comments the Berlinale’s Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian.

“I have always felt like an independent filmmaker within the system of Hollywood,” says Shyamalan. “It is exactly those things in us that are different and unorthodox that define our voice. I have tried to maintain these things in myself and cheer others on to protect those aspects in their art and in themselves. Being asked to be a part of Berlinale is deeply meaningful to me. It represents the highest imprimatur for a filmmaker. Being able to support and celebrate the world’s very best talent in storytelling is a gift I happily accepted.”

Shyamalan studied filmmaking at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts; during his final year he shot his first feature film Praying with Anger, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. His impressive filmmaking includes 14 feature films as a cinema director.

After The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan released a string of blockbusters with Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002), and The Village (2004). But it was with The Visit (2015), which became the most successful horror film of 2015, that Shyamalan decided to start financing his own films, giving him agency over his artistic vision, and helping to preserve the integrity of his storytelling. Split followed in 2017, which was number one at the US box office for three weeks in a row, followed by Glass, which repeated the same feat by remaining at the top of the box office for three weeks in a row. His latest cinema film Old, which is based on the graphic novel "Sandcastle" was released internationally in cinemas in summer 2021. He is currently working on his next cinema film, Knock at the Cabin, which will be released in February 2023.

Shyamalan has also had an equally successful start in the TV sector in 2015 with the 10-episode event series Wayward Pines for FOX, based on the best-selling novels. Currently Shyamalan serves as showrunner for the award-winning series Servant for Apple TV+. He has also directed several episodes of the series.

Shyamalan also devotes his time to the philanthropic projects of his foundation “The M. Night Shyamalan Foundation” which he co-founded with his wife in 2001. The foundation supports the grassroots efforts of emerging leaders as they work to eliminate the barriers created by poverty and social injustice in their communities.


Press Office
October 19, 2021

Источник: https://www.berlinale.de/en/news-topics/news/detail_103496.html

: M night shyamalan in his own movies

M night shyamalan in his own movies
M night shyamalan in his own movies
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M. Night Shyamalan Teases His New Film

The Real Reason M. Night Shyamalan Has Funded His Own Recent Movies

After starting his career in 1992, M. Night Shyamalan became a household name in 1999 with the runaway smash hit "The Sixth Sense," as did the writer-director's legendary penchant for twists both good and bad. As seen on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, his career has spanned everything from well-received movies both critically and financially like "Signs," "Split," and "Unbreakable" to those less well-loved and critical bombs like "The Happening," "After Earth," and "The Last Airbender." According to The Numbers, one of his biggest hits, "The Sixth Sense," generated a bombastic $672 million in worldwide box office sales while one of his biggest flops, "Lady In The Water," only earned $72.7 million (via The Numbers). 

Having m night shyamalan in his own movies directly involved in the production of more than 16 movies and television shows, Shyamalan has had his fair share of hits and misses. According to a recent interview with Collider, he's actually funding his own movies these days. But why would such a recognized artist personally pay to produce his own movies in Hollywood, a place where almost no one does such a thing and movies can cost millions of dollars?

Источник: https://www.looper.com/617552/the-real-reason-m-night-shyamalan-has-funded-his-own-recent-movies/

In person, Shyamalan projects an arresting mix of innocence and self-assurance—the vibe of a “brilliant 11 year old,” as the actress Cherry Jones once described him (he’ll be 51 this year). He styles himself an auteur, mentioning “Hitchcockian wit” and “Lynchian oddness” as touchpoints, but his ultimate idol, he confirms, after I mention an apocryphal Internet quote he didn’t actually say, is Agatha Christie, doyenne of the English murder mystery. He saw in Sandcastle an appealing “Agatha Christie, Twilight Zone vibe,” he explains, cut with a “tongue-in-cheekiness” he loves, but that can sometimes puzzle others.

His first introduction to Christie came when he visited his cousins’ family home in India as a kid, and saw multiple spines of her books on the shelves. He admired her drive to write without stopping for breath or worrying about the reception of her work. (That those works became commercial successes even so—well, he can sort of relate.) Her productivity “came from her direct love of what she was doing as opposed to its ingestion in the world,” he says. “Yet, there’s such a reverence for her.” The expectation readers bring to her work also inspires him. Once he understood expectation as a part of his career too, he leaned into thrillers as his métier, honoring what others seemed to recognize as his offering to the world.

The Christie comparison had made sense to me when I discovered it, having myself grown up surrounded by her books, as a member of the Indian diaspora. Old, after all, involves a curated group of people who arrive at a contained space, a sunny vacation spot where some terrible evil, pregnant with lessons on human nature, awaits. The movie actually opens with a restaurant scene meant as a direct homage to Christie, with its careful introduction of each character to each other. I knew this set-up.

Shyamalan, of course, became a household name at 30, a purveyor of somewhat Christie-esque twist endings, first in The Sixth Sense, then Unbreakable and Signs, before critics and audiences turned against him with a derision that could seem curious. Quentin Tarantino deemed Unbreakable,“one of the masterpieces of our time,” right after blithely using what had become a widespread alternative coinage for the director’s name, “Shamalamadingdong.”

Much ink has been spilled decoding why his claim in particular to a seat at the table seems forever denied, his name kept off movie posters due to rumored fears m night shyamalan in his own movies execs, his absence notable at Hollywood ceremonies, and in Hollywood itself (he lives in Pennsylvania). In 2016, a well-circulated lament at the website of the British Film Institute called him “a marked man, a divisive auteur at work within the mainstream, at once enormously successful and on the brink of failure, under constant attack….It’s hard to think of a more polarising recent filmmaker.”

Источник: https://www.gq.com/story/m-night-shyamalan-new-film-old
Glass Movie Spoilers

One could easily make the case that M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable (2016), Split (2016), and the upcoming Glass (2019) compose Hollywood’s first modern original shared cinematic universe. The Fast and the Furious unintentionally stumbled into franchise territory because of early contract disputes, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is based on existing source material. That leaves Shyamalan, who has the opportunity to cement his Hollywood comeback if Glass is a hit. But the director isn’t enthralled with the idea of establishing this sort of big-screen continuity, despite having planted the the seeds for one early on.

“That’s not interesting to me,” Shyamalan said of making his own cinematic universe in a recent interview with Vulture. “There’s no danger in that. Or not enough danger, let’s say that.”

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Upon further prompting, he added, “For me, my weapon isn’t matching pyrotechnics against pyrotechnics. I’m just not good at it! I just can’t—Avengers and movies like that—I mean, I don’t even know how they do these things.”

It’s true that the more ambitious Shyamalan has aimed to be in his career, the more his movies have struggled. Large-scale blockbusters such as 2010’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and 2013’s After Earth were notorious box office flops that were also savaged by critics. And yet, Shyamalan had always planned some sort of union between Unbreakable and Split from the very first draft. The smaller-scale Split, with a budget of around $10 million, was one of the most profitable films of the year it was released, grossing almost $300 million worldwide.

“That was always the idea,” the filmmaker explained. “Originally Unbreakable and Split were together. David and the Horde bump into each other at the train station, and David follows him.” However, given the narrative issues at play in the first film—it’s first and foremost about a man accepting his true self—the nod to Split was ultimately cut in favor of more specific character focus. “Whenever you raise the stakes, you can’t unraise them. So once you introduce girls being abducted, there’s a ticking clock that doesn’t allow for the breadth of character development that I wanted to do in Unbreakable with David, his wife, and his kid.”

None of this rules out the possible continuation of this universe, however, as Shyamalan notes that the story “could” continue beyond Glass, which hits theaters January 19. Will M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Unbreakable’ Universe Continue After ‘Glass’?

Источник: https://observer.com/2019/01/glass-movie-m-night-shyamalan-unbreakable-split-connections/

INTERVIEW: M Night Shyamalan On Devil

“It’s a great date movie,” reckons the man who’s written this stuck-in-a-lift-with-the-devil chiller

Devil which is released tomorrow, is the first of three films going out under the umbrella banner The Night Chronicles which will all feature Shyamalan scripts directed by other filmmakers (the second, Reincarnate about a haunted jury, was announced this week). SFX talked to Shyamalan about his new venture.

How did The Night Chronicles come about?

“I have a bunch of ideas when I decide to make a movie. I come up with more than one idea sometimes. Not often but sometimes. And I’ll outline, say, two, and I’m not sure which one I’m going to do. But then I’ll decide to go with one and in my mind I’m thinking, ‘I’ll do the other one next.’ But then one and a half years or two years later, when I’ve finished that movie, I just think of some other movie.

“So a few ideas became really fleshed out, and I kept thinking I was going to direct them, and I wanted to direct them, but I was never going to get round to it. Then I said, ‘Why don’t we make them, but I’ll get to some wonderful new filmmakers out there to make them?’ We’ll start a kind m night shyamalan in his own movies group where we can talk about movies and learn from each other. It felt like a wonderful way to connect with cutting-edge filmmakers.

“So we set up the first three ideas. But it’s not a trilogy. Hopefully, it’ll be a series of movies that we’ll make over time, and these are the first three.”

But is there something more than that connecting them together?

“Basically they are stories that I come up with, and they are usually supernatural thrillers of some kind. That’s the commonality.”

Is the idea that you’ll work with different directors on each one?

“Not on every one. I would love to work with the Dowdles again, who did Devil . They were amazing. So I would bet they would show up again at some point.”

Devil is basically about a bunch of people stuck together in a lift which seems like a limiting setting. Did you deliberately set out thinking, “How can I make something like this into a full movie?”

“Not really. I’d never seen the idea of a movie primarily in an elevator. I just thought it was a cool idea, dealing with the phobia of being stuck in an elevator. I’m interested in phobias; why are we scared of certain situations? The idea of being in an elevator, then adding the horror that one of them in there is not who they say they are, it was a scary premise.”

How much of the film is set in the lift?

“I’m not sure screen-time wise. There is a lot of time spent with the people trying to get them out of the lift and save their lives. But it’s entirely set in one building. So it is claustrophobic.”

So the film sticks to its conceptual guns and doesn’t suddenly open out into a chase movie or Die Hard In An Elevator halfway through?

“Ha ha. No! But strangely, the Dowdles made it an incredibly muscular movie. They really brought that m night shyamalan in his own movies on their own to the project. I think my original treatment was much more quiet and they brought this great muscularity to it. It feels very big.”

What do you mean by muscularity?

“It’s not talking heads. There’s a physicality to the movie, and the violence of what’s happening.”

What was like seeing somebody else direct your script? The last time that happened was Stuart Little.

“You know, it’s funny. I thought that would be an issue – would I feel emotionally bad? But Ally financial dealer services phone number didn’t for one second have that feeling. I think primarily because I really, really respect these guys. I thought these guys were fantastic filmmakers and it would be great to work with them.

“I thought of myself more as a goalie. They referred to me as that once. I was there to help them out. They would be the ones playing the game, scoring, playing defence, doing all that, and I would be right back there to help them if anything m night shyamalan in his own movies by them.”

You were a hands-off producer, then?

“I wasn’t hands-off so much. It was such an open, creative relationship. I really think they’re great, their point of view is inspiring to me, so every time they came up with something, it would always have merit to it. Even if we disagreed on something, they would always have a smart way of positioning their argument, and almost always I would go, ‘If you feel that strongly you should go for it.’

“It was an ideal relationship for my first time out with these movies, my first experience being on this side of it, producing. I would say, for sure, the golden rule is hire some people you respect.”

Do you have a sneaky cameo in Devil ?

“No. I would love to say yes, but no. One of these movies I would love to pop up in the background. But I don’t want to be a distraction, you know? Ideally if you do do it, it should do early in the movie and get out.”

For better or for worse, you’re known as the director who does the twists. Does it irritate you that there’s so much baggage that comes with your name?

“I guess it’s a learning process for me. I still don’t see myself the way other people see me. I don’t think like that. To me I still feel the same way I did when I was 21 and I just closed the door and thought up a story. Every time, I think of it as my first movie. I don’t think with any plot mechanisms or anything like that in mind. So it’s weird, because you don’t want to have, like, a calculating person in the room with you.

“But I like unexpected things to happen. And I also like simplicity. So I have those two things that interest me. And I like linear, clean stories as well.”

As a producer, what did it feel like being the man who had to look after the purse strings this time?

“Oh, I wouldn’t put it like that. I feel the same way about all my movies. Coming in on budget is critical. M night shyamalan in his own movies being professional and honouring the people whose money we’re using, and making sure they get their money back and more is a sense of pride, almost irrational in me. It’s really important to me that I’m professional in that matter. Maybe it’s an immigrant thing!”

Finally, here’s your chance to really sell Devil to our readers. Why should we go to see it?

“I have a love m night shyamalan in his own movies scary movies, where it’s grounded in a reality and the scares kind of stick to you. And I believe the Dowdles have achieved that with this movie. They have made one of those movies that is viscerally, intellectually and emotionally scary. Your heart is just pounding the whole time. You should definitely take a date because she’ll definitely grab you.”

Источник: https://www.gamesradar.com/interview-m-night-shyamalan-on-devil/

It would be fair to say that despite working in a similar genre and having a propensity for making cameo appearances in many of his movies, filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan is no Alfred Hitchcock. That’s not to denigrate Shyamalan; he’s made some entertaining pictures, but he’s unlikely to reach the exalted status of the ‘Master of Suspense’, despite his best efforts.

Like Hitchcock, Shyamalan has also ventured into scripted television with the short-lived Wayward Pines (2015-16) and the current Apple+ psychological horror series Servant, which is picking up some of his best reviews to date.

To an extent the director is the victim of his own success, as the popularity of his breakthrough movie The Sixth Sense led him to attempt m night shyamalan in his own movies version of its twist ending in almost all of his following pictures. Some have worked, others less so.

Critics have a point when they say that a fair few of the director’s films would work better as shorts or 30-minute TV episodes, as some feel a trifle overextended.

Shyamalan’s career was in steep decline by the time of 2006’s notorious flop Lady in the Water (an incomprehensible modern day mermaid fable full of ‘Scrunts’, ‘Narfs’ and ‘Eatlons’) and it was almost ten years before he enjoyed commercial and critical success again with The Visit (2015) and Split the following year.

His new movie, Old, hews to the high concept formula of Shyamalan’s previous work, concerning as it does a tropical beach where a vacationing family discover that they will age their full lives within one day if they stay there.

Here’s my selection of seven of M Night Shyamalan’s best motion pictures:

Split (2017) – Amazon Rent/Buy

If you’re a connoisseur of over-acting, Split is just the movie for you.

A ‘stealth sequel’ to the director’s earlier Unbreakable (due to an uncredited Bruce Willis cameo at the end), Split stars James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb/aka The Horde, an unfortunate dissociative identity disorder sufferer.

Crumb has 23 distinct personalities of all ages and both sexes, and the 24th, an inhumanly powerful entity known as ‘The Beast’. When The Beast is unleashed, all holy hell breaks loose.

Costing a paltry m night shyamalan in his own movies, Split took in $279m in worldwide box office receipts, cementing Shyamalan’s career revival. McAvoy was praised for his performance as The Horde, although I personally felt that he could have dialled down the scenery chewing a scooch.

The Visit (2015) – Netflix, Amazon Rent/Buy

Shyamalan’s comeback movie was a box office smash, its tiny $5m budget reaping $99m at the box office.

The black comedy aspects of this found-footage horror represented a departure from the maestro’s usually rather po-faced fare, earning him rare critical plaudits.

Teenage siblings Becca and Tyler pay their first visit to their mother’s parents, who they have never met due to a falling out over their daughter’s marriage with her high-school teacher. ‘Nana’ and ‘Pop Pop’s remote farmhouse and strange rules (including a 9.30pm curfew, with no leaving the bedroom) soon puts the wind up the kids - and with good cause.

As with Split, Shyamalan’s employment of mental illness as a source of villainy could be seen by many as somewhat dubious.

Devil (2010) – Amazon Rent/Buy

Although directed by John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine), Devil is recognisably part of the Shyamalan oeuvre, as he both produced and wrote the story that Brian Nelson’s screenplay was based on.

A kind of horror movie take on Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Huis Clos (No Exit), Devil posits a scenario where five people are trapped in a lift - a former soldier, a mattress salesman, a security guard, a young woman, and an elderly woman.

Four of whom harbour guilty secrets. One of the five is the devil – but who?

Once again Shyamalan provides an apparently shock ending to the movie, although I suspect many will have already worked out the identity of the Fallen One.

‘L'enfer, c'est les autres' (Hell is other people), as Sartre said in Huis Clos.

The Village (2004) – Disney+, Amazon Rent/Buy

An idea that’s been cribbed recently for Antebellum (2021) and Alice, The Village attempts to convince us that the setting for the picture is an isolated community of Covington in rural 19th-century Pennsylvania.

Malevolent creatures stalk the woods surrounding the stockaded village, further cloistering the inhabitants from the outside world.

But is what is the unfathomable secret of Covington?

A game cast that includes Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, Brendan Gleeson and Jesse Eisenberg do their best to sell Shyamalan’s deeply silly but still enjoyable yarn.

Signs (2002) – Disney+, Amazon Rent/Buy

A particularly barmy entry in the Shyamalan canon (rivalling The Happening’s ‘flower-power’ apocalypse), this alien invasion movie is an off the wall counterpart to Spielberg’s later War of the Worlds (2005), where this time the CGI aliens are defeated by humble H20 (and a trusty baseball bat) rather than the common cold in HG Wells novel.

The heavy-handed Christian subtext probably attracted Mel Gibson (who plays former pastor Graham Hess) to the project, together with the licence given to overemote throughout the picture.

That being said, there are some pretty effective scares in Signs when the Hess homestead is under siege by marauding extra-terrestrial critters.

As with the Martians in WOTW and the sniffles/man flu, one would think a basic reconnaissance of the planet by the aliens would have established that water covers 71% of the earth’s surface and that H20 makes up approximately 60% of humans.

And rainfall is frequent on some areas of Terra, especially where humanity tends to dwell.

Back to the drawing board then, alien chaps.

The pre-movie death by car accident of Hess’ wife Colleen was amusingly spoofed the following year by Charlie Sheen in Scary Movie 3.

Unbreakable (2000) – full movie available free to watch on YouTube, otherwise Disney+, Amazon Rent/Buy

Doing what it says on the tin, Bruce Willis is randy average Joe security guard David Dunn, who after an horrific train crash, discovers that he’s literally unbreakable – or as near as dammit.

Samuel L Jackson’s wheelchair bound comic-book fan Elijah Price (aka Mr. Glass) reveals the truth to Willis – that he’s a real-life superhero, possessing superstrength, near invulnerability and an evil-detecting form of ESP. When Dunn shakes Glass’s hand, the truth of the train crash is revealed…

Shyamalan attempted to forge his own Marvel style universe by bringing back Willis and Jackson’s characters to join James McAvoy in the underwhelming Glass (2019).

Sixth Sense (1999) – Amazon Rent/Buy

There are two ways to approach The Sixth Sense if you’ve already seen the picture before.

You either find something else to watch as you know the famous twist ending – or rewatch and pick up on all the clues Shyamalan has carefully laid out that you may have missed.

An understandably (in the context of the movie) hangdog Bruce Willis plays Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist with an interesting new client, Cole Sear (Seer?), a nine year-old boy (Haley Joel Osment) who can see ‘dead people’.

Источник: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/m-night-shyamalan-on-screen-seven-movies-worth-watching

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