M. Night Shyamalan has had one of the most interesting careers as a filmmaker. While there are many who would critique his art as poor or overrated, others would cite films such as ‘The Sixth Sense’ (1999) and ‘Split’ (2016) to prove his mastery. The director since debuting in 1992 has successfully created several modern day masterpieces and has earned the moniker of “twist-master”. The 47-year-old has also been praised with quite a many accolades, which include a ‘Padma Shri’ in 2008.
Among his thirteen feature films, ‘The Sixth Sense’ put Shyamalan on the map. The famous twist ending the film is still to be topped. The film is about a young boy named Cole Sear who is able to “see and talk to the dead”. In order to cure this perceived ailment, his family calls in an equally troubled psychologist named Michael Crowe. ‘The Sixth Sense’ introduced the world to Shyamalan’s indulgence in twist endings, which acted as an archetype for his future projects.
The films we’re gonna discuss in this article are constructed of similar narrative and thematic archetypes. With twisted narratives, troubled characters and psychologically charged themes, these films will disturb yet enthral and entertain you. With all that said, here’s the list of best movies similar to ‘The Sixth Sense’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these movies like ‘The Sixth Sense’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
10. Shutter Island (2010)
Directed by the brilliant Martin Scorsese, ‘Shutter Island’ is a neo-noir psychological thriller that revolves around U.S Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels, who is given the task of investigating a psychiatric facility on the titular Shutter Island after one of the patients goes missing. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Edward Daniels, Mark Ruffalo as the sidekick Chuck Aule and Ben Kingsley as Dr John Cawley, the facility’s lead psychiatrist, ‘Shutter Island’ explores the themes of insanity and authoritarianism. Adapted from American author Denis Lehane’s novel of the same name, published in 2003, the film develops its tonality and premise with the dimly lit cinematography by American cinematographer Robert Richardson and the undertone of classical music composed by Krzysztof Penderecki, György Ligeti, John Cage, and Ingram Marshall. The narrative adapted to the screenplay by Laeta Kalogridis works as a period piece, which is sharpened for the thrills with film noir and horror.
9. Donnie Darko (2001)