He’s back. Or so they say. ‘Multiple’ (Split, 2017), ‘Glass’ (2019) and ‘Time’ (Old, 2021) seem to have recovered the director who surprised us with films like ‘The Sixth Sense’ (The Sixth Sense, 1999), ‘Signals ‘ (Signs, 2003) or ‘The protégé’ (Unbreakable, 2001), the same one that progressively lost its mojo until each of its new films was received practically with whistling.
Now that he is more contained, that he has won the favor of critics and the public, and that he has another premiere under his belt, we review the best moments of involuntary humor in the less fortunate films of his filmography; to remember, from the love, his darkest stage and, why not, fun.
Since we are talking about the king of final twists (almost a pathology) the SPOILERS of this little review run wild.
Debate with el fig
‘The incident’ (The Happening, 2008) was the vision of the apocalyptic film director so fashionable in the 2000s with an interesting idea: collective suicide for unexplained causes as a threat.
The big problem with the movie is not that the characters reach conclusions about the causes in a matter of minutes, the big problem is the characters themselves. The great incredible moment of the film is when the protagonist tries to talk to a plastic plant. Between absurd and dadaist. Shyamalan’s career changed forever.
What to say about ‘The visit’ (The Visit, 2015)? It’s either a sick joke, or just the director trying to have a good time not caring about taking his own premise seriously. She is tricky like few others but we must admit that she amuses him in his moments of terror. But the moment in which the grandfather scrubs his shit-filled diapers to the insufferable child protagonist, baffles us. It belongs to a type of scatological humor that is funny in the bar, but, even in a movie as crazy as ‘The Visit‘, it is shocking.
Shyamalan el profeta
There are many, many moments in ‘La joven del Agua’ (Lady in the Water, 2006) that make it a wonderful unintentional comedy . From her own mythology, the attempts to recreate a group of picturesque characters or that ending resolved thanks to a cereal box.
But one of the truly insufferable and ridiculous moments is seeing how the director and screenwriter plays a hallucinated writer who has all the answers by becoming a prophet. His appearances of him should redefine the word messianic.
The recruiting dialogue
‘Signs‘ (Signs, 2002) may be the director’s most restrained film, but that doesn’t free him from some very strange deviations. When Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix), a failed baseball player tries to enlist in the army, and the officer (Ted Sutton) realizes that he was a player in the league, he begins a dialogue with an exposition, from the beginning, misspelled.
But the scene gets worse when the man begins to deliver a monologue about Merrill’s career that ends with a sentence that makes even less sense. “Why didn’t you come in with the professionals, making piles of money and having all the prettiest women lick your feet? ”.
The turn of ‘The forest’ (The Village, 2004)
Some say they catch it the first time, others are caught by surprise, but hardly anyone buys it. Oh! It is the present time ! It is a moment that sums up the director’s addiction to final turns to the point of raising an entire film around an incredible premise. In our hearts we want it to work, but for a group of teachers to recreate a life of puritans destroying the lives of their children and playing traumatize them in a national park is too, too, stupid an idea.
Jarabe pear to cough
We cannot leave one of his most gloriously ridiculous films without remembering the monologue about cough syrup, to make his wife jealous, of the protagonist of ‘The Incident‘. Mark Wahlberg’s face says it all, but Zooey Deschanel’s expressions (Is that his character autistic?) Here and in the rest of the film are unmatched.
He final of Multiple (Split, 2017)
It’s very typical of Shyamalan. The whole movie talks about the beast, the hidden and most feared personality of the madman played by James McAvoy. When it finally appears, it confirms the entire theory of physical changes through mental changes with which we have been hammered for two hours, but the conclusion, when the beast is about to catch the ” final girl “, is only comparable to the already epic “Martha” from ‘Batman v Superman: dawn of justice’ (Batman v Superman: dawn of justice, 2016).
The monster decides not to eat its victim because, oh, it sees that she has marks all over her body and decides that, surely, most likely, it’s because she’s been abused, like he was. She is pure. Clear. One of the most whimsical and forced endings of recent fantastic cinema.
‘Airbender, the last warrior’ (The Last Airbender, 2010) outraged anime fans for its perversion of the original idea and the disastrous performances of most of the cast. Although it is not as terrible as they paint it, it does treasure many moments that leave you with a crooked ass. Especially the scenes in which the “Airbending” of the series is represented with a series of ridiculous tribal dances in which the only thing missing is Steven Segal making his already mythical lezginka passes.
Jaden Smith en ‘After Earth’ (2013)
Everything in ‘After Earth’ is in the vein of Shyamalan ‘s lowest moments , but the performance of the Smiths, father and son, is especially ridiculous. Especially absurd are the father’s monologue in which he explains how he overcame his fears and most of the moments in which the boy has a phrase sufficiently overdramatized by the script. An indicative example, the “I’m not a coward” that is meme meat.
Death to critics
Continuing with its narcissistic exposition , ‘La joven del agua’ includes a nice manifesto against film critics, just after they tore apart ‘El Bosque’. To do this, he included in his plot, completely arbitrarily, a disgusting, arrogant and asshole critic who dies in a ridiculous and horrible way, after reciting a metafilmic monologue about what is happening to him that makes the colors rise.
A tantrum in which he is drawn as a rebel outside the conventions and misunderstood by critics. No, Mr. Shyamalan, critics disliked your movies because of whimsical, self-indulgent, and unfunny details like these.