It started out soooo strong, and it kind of just sadly petered out. I still have faith he might turn it around.
1999 – Stuart Little – Fun fact: Shyamalan co-wrote this screenplay! Who woulda thunk it? That was an adorable movie–solid start.
1999 – The Sixth Sense – This movie blew. my. mind. It was such a hit that even if you never saw the movie you probably know the ending. It’s pretty much become a pop-culture staple.
2000 – Unbreakable – Another win for Shyamalan! He’s starting to corner the market here for creative sci-fi with jaw-dropping twists, and basically everyone is loving it.
2002 – Signs – Aaaaand he did it. Sealed the deal. Shyamalan is now THE man for original thrillers. Well done.
2004 – The Village – The viewers are kinda sorta starting to catch on. I can’t be alone in thinking the ending was kind of easy to guess? Still a solid movie, so maybe this is just a lull in a string of unbelievable successes.
2006 – Lady in the Water – This was pretty much an across-the-board let down. The movie didn’t have a very high-stakes feel, and it moved pretty slow. I actually thought it was okay overall, partly because I love Paul Giamatti, but it’s pretty clearly his weakest work yet.
2008 – The Happening – Yiiiiikes. What happened here? Concept, casting, editing–all bad. Plants killing people? I mean sure, it’s creative, but it’s also ridiculous. With this, Shyamalan has enters a full-on slump.
2010 – The Last Airbender – I never saw this movie, but I can only assume it wasn’t a great success since we have heard nothing of a sequel. Which was pretty obviously the whole point.
2010 – Devil – Didn’t see this one either. And while it looked intriguing, it also kind of looked like your run-of-the-mill horror thriller.
2013 – After Earth – I think we can agree that all this movie merits is a giant eyeroll in Jaden Smith’s direction. Sorry, buddy.
I’m rooting for a comeback, Shyamalan. When you’re ready, I’ll be waiting in the front row with a big bag of popcorn.
Swing away, M. Night. Swing away.