Once hailed as the next Spielberg, M. Night Shyamalan took Hollywood by storm when he wrote and directed The Sixth Sense back in 1999 and rightfully so, The Sixth Sense was a film that showed that he truly was a gifted filmmaker. Unbreakable and Signs followed next, both films were well received and helped in further consolidating Shyamalan’s career but since then his career has basically been in a downward spiral to the absolute bottom of the barrel and the guy has pretty much become a punch-line with the shockingly bad films he’s made over the past decade. Whether he will get his career back with his latest film The Visit remains to be seen by me but until then here’s my pick of the very worst of M. Night Shyamalan.
5. The Village (2004)
After his first three films, Shyamalan was pretty much one of Hollywood’s hottest properties so with his fourth film, The Village he lined-up perhaps the best cast he’s had any movie with William Hurt, Joaquin Phoenix, Signourey Weaver, Adrien Brody and Jesse Eisenberg all starring but the biggest problem with this film is that it simply isn’t the film we were fooled into thinking it was. In the trailers and even the first hour of the film, The Village feels like psychological horror but slowly it starts falling apart and ends up being a stupid, moapy love story. Not to forget, it contains one of the worst plot-twists in the history of plot-twists.
4. The Happening (2008)
Ok so I know a lot of people will argue that The Happening is Shyamalan’s worst film but as terrible as this movie is, it’s funny. I mean it literally feels like Shyamalan was hopped up on acid while making this movie because it’s just an incredibly laughable and idiotic film where most of the time you’re like, ”Did I just see that?”. I mean, just look at this. Can you believe that’s Mark Wahlberg? The Happening also has the honor of providing us with one of the most intimidating movie villains ever, plants.
3. Lady in the Water (2007)
Shyamalan is no stranger to making mind numbingly dumb films, just look at the The Happening and The Village but Lady in the Water was a new low even for him when it hit theaters back in 2007. Apparently making cameo appearances were not enough for the director and so he decided to make himself the center of this maligned fairy-tale. Literally nothing about the story clicks nor does anything feel even the slightest bit engaging, the pacing is disastrous but hey, at least Shyamalan finally got his revenge on the critics by getting one played by Bob Balaban eaten by a wolf-dog.
2. After Earth (2013)
Right after his biggest failure, Shyamalan was running around Hollywood with his dick in his hand, hoping someone would work with him until he got his hands on the Untitled Smith Family Vanity Project and turned it into After Earth. Between Jaden Smith’s insufferable central performance, Will Smith phoning it in and the dull and utterly unengaging story, there isn’t a lot to like about After Earth but it’s still far from his worst work…
1. The Last Airbender (2010)
This is it. The disaster of disasters. The mother of all failures. The Last Airbender. After The Happening people didn’t think there was a way that Shyamalan could embarrass himself to a greater extent. So Shyamalan took a greatly loved children’s cartoon, cast the absolute worst child actors in the world, brought the most incompetent visual effects department in Hollywood on board, got the studio to give him a $150 million budget and gave us one of the most awful, deplorable and appalling things to ever hit the big screen. I mean there is absolutely no redeeming quality in this piece of garbage, The acting is shockingly bad, the visuals are cheap as hell, the script is fucking terrible and the movie doesn’t even feel like it has a director. How Shyamalan has been able to survive in Hollywood after this surprises me.