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Little Details In M. Night Shyamalan Movies That Should Have Made Their Endings Obvious

Updated March 12, 2020 15.0k votes 2.9k voters 404.3k views14 items

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M. Night Shyamalan’s filmography is littered with surprise twist endings. At the end of The Sixth Sense audiences learn Dr. Malcolm Crowe was dead all along, while in The Village the twist is the film’s events are set during modern times.

Thankfully, after a few critical disasters, Shyamalan triumphantly returned to the genre that kicked off his career. More recent Shyamalan films - such as The Visit and Split - make excellent use of Shyamalan’s signature twist endings.

When Shyamalan is at the top of his game, his films have a unique ability to shock an audience and force them to rethink each scene that came prior. In retrospect, the ending can seem almost obvious, yet somehow audiences always fail to notice those little signs and clues foreshadowing each film’s conclusion.

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  • 1

    Dr. Malcolm’s Wife Doesn’t Say A Word During Their Dinner In ‘The Sixth Sense’

    Dr. Malcolm’s Wife Doesn’t Say A Word During Their Dinner In ‘The Sixth Sense’
    Photo: Disney

    It can be difficult to hold a conversation with somebody who is no longer living. And though audiences could be excused for thinking that Dr. Malcolm’s wife in The Sixth Sense didn’t speak to him during their dinner because she hated it him, looking back it was clearly because he was, you know, not alive.

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  • 2

    When Cole Says, “I See Dead People,” The Camera Cuts To Dr. Malcolm

    When Cole Says, “I See Dead People,” The Camera Cuts To Dr. Malcolm
    Photo: Disney

    The ending of The Sixth Sense is arguably the most famous film twist of all time, but maybe it should have been more obvious. When Cole utters his famous line to Dr. Malcolm, the camera immediately cuts to Dr. Malcolm.

    Cole clearly sees Dr. Malcolm, and the camera makes it apparent. Malcolm is one of those people.

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  • 3

    Elijah Mentions A Comic Book Criminal Has A Larger Head, And His Own Head Is Exaggerated In A Reflection

    Elijah Mentions A Comic Book Criminal Has A Larger Head, And His Own Head Is Exaggerated In A Reflection
    Photo: Disney

    At the conclusion of Unbreakable, it’s revealed Elijah is actually a villain, and he’s been staging massive disasters in the hopes it’ll somehow create a superhero. But there’s a scene early in the film when Elijah explains to a customer that sometimes criminals are drawn with larger heads to accentuate their criminal nature.

    Elijah’s own head appears larger and distorted in the frame’s glass reflection. Elijah’s own reflection attempts to give away his villainous nature.

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  • 4

    Ivy Wasn’t Able To See Noah’s “Aura” When He Hid In The Closet

    Although Ivy is blind in The Village, she can still see the “auras” of certain people, like Lucius or her father. We know she can’t see Noah, however, because early in the film he manages to sneak up on her.

    This is important because later in the movie, Ivy is also unable to see the monster who’s attacking her. That monster turns out to be Noah, who we already learned she’s unable to sense. It’s a clue these monsters might not be actual evil creatures and more just people in weird costumes.

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