Twist and shout: A crafty ranking of M. Night Shyamalan’s craziest work
Twisty McTwisterson – otherwise known as M. Night Shyamalan – has been hard at work making his Split and Unbreakable crossover movie, Glass. For those of you with a weak memory, the ending of Split featured Bruce Willis reprising his Unbreakable role and making audiences in theaters across the world go, “huh, so that’s his twist this time?” Universal teased the upcoming new movie at ComicCon with a banner image showing James McAvoy reprising his role(s) from Split, standing with Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. McAvoy is looking hench and veiny, Willis looks like a DIY Green Hornet, and Jackson looks a little like a Doctor Strange fancy dress idea gone awry.
The trailer for Glass was also previewed at the event with JoBlo, revealing it’s “full of great bits and meaty dialogue”. In it, the three characters (Dunn, Glass, and The Beast) are apparently shown locked up in an asylum and being treated as delusional people convinced they’re superheroes. There’s apparently also scenes of Dunn (Willis) and The Beast (McAvoy) fighting criminals. Superheroes, huh? They’re always on trend. As is often the case with Shyamalan’s upcoming projects, we’re expecting plenty of insanity with Glass and at least one ludicrous twist. Let’s enjoy a reminder of Shyamalan’s proclivity for madness with a ranking of eleven of his craziest projects yet.
11. Stuart Little (1999)
Did you know Shyamalan wrote this family movie featuring voice acting work from Michael J. Fox (Back to the Future), Geena Davis (Thelma & Louise), and Hugh Laurie? We’d forgotten all about it. Actually, it’s one of his better ones.
10. Wayward Pines (2015-)
Acting as an executive producer and director on the project, this short-lived Twin Peaks wannabe followed a US Secret Service agent (Matt Dillon) investigating strange behavior in a small town, only to find he’s trapped there and can’t leave. We hope David Lynch watched every episode while chain smoking and laughing heartily to himself.
9. The Village (2004)
With a twist that is kind of obvious from the start (probably because by 2004, audiences were actively knowing to look for one), The Village follows a group of people in a small community fearful of a troupe of mysterious creatures. With a stellar cast including Sigourney Weaver (Alien) and William Hurt (A History of Violence), the movie itself isn’t too nuts, but the ending definitely is.
8. Devil (2010)
Shyamalan only wrote the story (not the script) for this movie in which a group of people discover they’re trapped in an elevator with the Devil. But we’re still pointing our finger straight at him for the film’s unbridled sense of lunacy.
7. The Sixth Sense (1999)
A child (played by Haley Joel Osment) can see dead people and spends time with an older man (Willis again) who is so deeply in denial about how shit his luck is that he doesn’t even know that he too is dead.
6. Signs (2002)
Extraterrestrials invade earth and farm dudes played by Mel Gibson (Braveheart) and Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator) are scared shitless. Many alien-related japes and poorly executed jump scares happen before a third act reveal showcases the weakness of the aliens in a laughable twist which has only recently been beaten by the weakness of the creatures in A Quiet Place.
5. Unbreakable (2000)
Superhero abilities played out in mundane ways! Shyamalan’s follow up to The Sixth Sense did not disappoint and remains a fan favorite. It’s actually pretty good.
4. Split (2016)
The filmmaker directed, produced, wrote, and starred in this offbeat movie in which McAvoy (Atonement) portrays a man with 23 different personalities, a few of which decide to kidnap some teenage girls (Anya Taylor-Joy & Haley Lu Richardson) to satiate the hunger of a cannibalistic super-strength sociopath. No synopsis can do this insanity justice.
3. Lady in the Water (2006)
Starring Paul Giamatti (American Splendor), Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help), and Jeffrey Wright (Westworld), Lady in the Water explores a bedtime story character who appears in a swimming pool and is desperately trying to get back home to her own universe. Says it all really – this movie is bonkers!
2. The Visit (2015)
Centering around a young woman who for some bizarre reason decides to entrust her estranged parents with babysitting her teenage children for five days (aren’t they old enough to take care of themselves?), The Visit is stupefying on many levels. It features murderous grandparents, many inexplicable scenes of a child rapping, and even a moment where a dirty diaper gets rubbed into a kids face. This is all before the ridiculous final twist is even revealed!
1. The Happening (2008)
Widely derided as being one of the worst movies ever made, we’re actually happy to defend The Happening for setting a new precedent for jaw-dropping, B-movie style delirium. Starring Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter) as a man who sweet talks plants and Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) as a woman who looks perpetually shocked, The Happening follows nature taking revenge on humanity by driving people to impulsive feats of violent suicide. Even if it wasn’t Shyamalan’s intent, The Happening is a laugh a minute and an absolute hoot.