The Very Worst Of – M. Night Shyamalan

the very worst of m. night shyamalan

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)

the happening

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)

Lady-in the water

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)

after earth

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)

The Last Airbender

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.



38 responses to “The Very Worst Of – M. Night Shyamalan

  1. Such strong feelings towards The Last Airbender.. I completely agree. I weep because this film exists. I cannot unsee that horrible, foul adaptation. It angers me something rotten! Just have so much hatred for this film..


  2. Ahhhh, M. Night Iamasham. How he’s still allowed to make movies is beyond me. That said, I didn’t completely hate The Last Airbender the way I did with some of the others. And I would argue his downward spiral started with Signs. Hate that movie.


    • Signs had some really interesting things going on imo. I thought the film had some great suspense and build-up which more than compensated for the anti-climatic pay-off


  3. Ok, I know I’ll lose a lot of street cred here, but I like M. Night Shyamalan. I liked the characters and the suspense in The Village and the fairytale aspect of Lady in the Water. I didn’t even mind The Happening. After Earth and The Last Airbender were awful, I’ll give you that. I think the major reason everyone hates on him so much is because he built unrealistic expectations for himself. I know that my opinion is definitely not a popular one but when I look at the movies as individual films and not as part of a greater collection of work, I don’t find these movies all that terrible.

    That being said, I really enjoyed reading this post!!


  4. This will make me a pariah I’m sure but I didn’t enjoy “Sixth Sense” that much. I found it dull for the most part and even the twist couldn’t save it for me. I lasted about 20 minutes of “Unbreakable” too. :/


    • I understand that, The Sixth Sense isn’t the most enjoyable film but I think it’s quite expertly crafted and the twist really does resonate for me.
      Didn’t hate Unbreakable but didn’t like it either. I thought it was too poorly paced and there was just too little going on in the entire movie


  5. Ha! So basically, every movie h’s made except Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. I have to agree, and I didn’t like Unbreakable either. Signs has a few good moments, though. Good list, Khalid.


  6. LOL!!! This post is epic. I’m so glad I haven’t seen After Earth or that Airbender movie and yet…I almost want to just so I can do a post like this too.

    The Happening is…one of the most unintentionally hilarious movies I’ve ever seen. LOL…that scene…where the potted plant talks to him…MY GOD!!!


  7. Haha! Great post, man. It’s so funny. I really love Shyamalan’s “bad” movies. Of course, you’re 2 and 1 picks are movies I will never see. But 3, 4, and 5 are movies I actually really like. Lady in the Water had a really cool locked room mystery quality about it and an interesting ensemble cast. I dug it. The Happening is so bad it’s good for me. I even love Wahlberg’s horrible acting. Something so endearing about his earnestness. Now, The Village, to me, is a really great film. So, the twist is sort of stupid. I don’t really care because what comes before is so beautiful. It really is a beautifully shot film and that score is impeccable.


    • Thanks man! I see that a lot of people dig The Village, perfectly respect your opinions but the movie just doesnt strike me as even the slightest bit compelling. The Happening does have some so bad it’s good moments but I still think its pretty bad and Lady in the Water was just awfully dull for me. But again, to each his own. I’m glad we agree that 1 and 2 are really bad. 😀


  8. Haha. The Happening. The title. That’s all it takes to make me laugh. Great article, Khalid. I agree, that movie is so bad it’s good… to make fun of. I was disappointed by The Village because it had a good first act, but the twist was too telegraphed. How many directors made 3 great movies, then the rest Blazing turds? Shyamalan is in a class all his own. Thanks for reminding me… no, really 😉


  9. I agree with 4/5 but I have to say – I liked The Village, I mean, I never saw the final ending coming. I liked the mystery that surrounded the village and the characters. What I really want to know is, which one of the elders skinned those animals as that was terrible.


    • Yeah but the fact that, that weird monster was just Adrien Brody disguised as one was really disappointing. It just sank the movie for me and I did not find the plot-twist to be that great either


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