Moviegoers laugh at sight of M. Night Shyamalan's name. How has it come to this?

You guys, what’s happening? I remember years ago, I used to get goosebumps just hearing about The Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan’s future projects. But after the critical failures of such flicks as Lady in the Water, The Last Airbender, and the aforementioned The Happening — which, in my book, is an under-appreciated gem, in that Plan 9 From Outer Space kind of way — it seems the director has literally become a joke to some moviegoers. Just watch this video, filmed in a theater, in which the pure sight of Shyamalan’s name, attached to the Devil trailer, invites groans and laughter. Let’s hope the director swallows this small bout of humiliation with a nice, cold lemon drink. [Gawker]

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  • ObiHave

    Because he takes himself WAY too seriously and his films are crap and YES I’m including the Sixth Sense which was mediocre at best despite the plot twist. Most directors wait decades to put their name above a title. I feel about him like I do about Michael Bay…self important hacks!

    • rj631

      I know it’s petty, but that’s why Tyler Perry drives me insane. Because every one of his projects has his name before it. Tyler Perry’s this, Tyler Perry’s that. I know it’s his work and he’s proud, but it just annoys me, like he has a giant ego or something.

      • ger

        I like Tyler Perry’s name before a movie title – it’s kind of like a “Danger – Stay Away” sign for me.

      • TJhooker

        Tyler Perry’s Unfunny Black People

      • Tom Brazelton

        “Tyler Perry’s ‘Tyler Perry’ starring Tyler Perry”

      • About that

        To be fair, Tyler Perry’s plays and videos were popular in the black community before he hit the big screen. He didn’t just start out making bad comedies in movie theaters, he was well known for his work before.

  • tvgirl48

    okay, this headline kind of freaked me out for a second of paranoia, because I have to admit that I was one of those people (not in that showing, but in the world) who laughed when I saw M Night’s name come up for that trailer. It seemed like any other subpar horror movie until I saw his name and I honestly could not help myself. I apologize to everyone who was in my theater with me! :-(

  • Gringo Ate My Baby!

    His first movie was decent, but everything after “Unbreakable” has been a teeming barrel of monkey spunk. I hope he swallows the humiliation with a bottle of sleeping pills.

    • Grammar

      Agreed. Most of his films are built to and/or about the twist, and if you see it coming (like I did with both Sixth Sense and The Village, for example), then there is nothing else there to hang the movie on.

      • Mr. Burns

        Not so sure I agree. I see it as more of a steady (but steep) decline. You can debate the novelty of the twist ending, but Sixth Sense and Unbreakable were both pretty solid movies. The plot holes on Signs are notable, and you can argue the hokiness of the ending to The Village, but those two films are servicable in terms of building suspense. The Lady in the Water was just laughable as M suddenly thought he could spin a fantasy tale; but good acting by P Giammati and Bryce Howard kept in from a total disaster. And the The Happening, which took mind boggling lameness to new heights (or depths); wooden story, wooden acting, trite actions.

  • Minutiae

    I just think it’s cool to hate him now, so all the pompous twits pile on him to look cool. I think he’s still got some good work left in him.

    • Grammar

      He deserves all the piling on just for Signs. He created an alien race that was smart enough to cross the cosmos to Earth to invade, but somehow made them unable to determine that the planet they were invading was covered with WATER. THEIR ONE WEAKNESS. “Oh no, light rain! The invasion is hosed!”

      • Jason C.

        It was nearly the same idea as War of the Worlds by HG Wells, but you don’t hear people complaining about that. “Oh, microorganisms destroy a far superior alien culture. Even we as humans would research a planet for microorganisms before landing on an alien world…”

      • Devin Faraci


      • Jordan

        You’re just saying that because that’s what it’s cool to think. The aliens obviously wouldn’t know what water even was.

      • @jason C

        The water on earth is visible from outer space. Microbes are not. And when HG Wells wrote War of the Worlds, people were not so aware of the problems that germs could pose. M Night S. does not have a good excuse for Signs.

      • DT

        They can pilot a spaceship, but they also have trouble with doorknobs.

      • Ames

        But the movie was not about Aliens. It was about a man losing his faith, and how God interacts with people. I cannpt understand why people focus on the water element of the movie.

    • Addison

      I don’t hate him. He was my favorite director once. But he has earned the laughs with his steadily declining work. Signs kept people captivated in theaters, but the Village barely did, and his following movies have gone from absurd to incompetent. I was sure “Last Airbender” would mark a return to form for him and I was hoping as much. But reports have been that this is his worst film yet. I couldn’t bring myself to go see it as I can’t imagine anything being worst that the Happening. I don’t know how you lose the ability to tell a coherent story, but M. Night Shyamalan has.

    • Creek

      No, we don’t hate him because it’s cool, we hate him because his works and his ego are unsubstantiated piles of manure.

  • Michelle

    what theater was that at? everyone where I was at laughed too

  • Ben

    I remember when I went to see Transformers 2 and the teaser to The Last Airbender came on. Everyone started boo-ing.

    • wash

      Yeah, because an audience there to view Transformers 2 is the arbiter of taste.

  • tvgirl48

    I was the only one who laughed at my theater, which was incredibly awkward since I did literally laugh out loud. I couldn’t help myself. (and sorry if I end up double posting somehow, EW’s on the fritz for me)

  • pancakes

    Gringo Ate My Baby is insulting monkey spunk.

  • H Dawg

    M. Night’s weaknesses are as a writer, not a director. If you look at his films, the flaws are with the story, not his direction of them.

    Unfortunately, this doesn’t bode will for Devil, as he only wrote (and not directed) it.

    If he directed someone else’s well written story, he’d be back on top. But he’s either too arrogant (or for some other unknown reason) he only directs movies he’s written. I don’t get it, and it’s a shame. Because his directing talents far exceed his writing capabilities.

    • fish

      I agree with you for the most part. Whatever their plot weaknesses may be, his first four movies were well directed. He pulled great performances from his actors, especially the child actors. Which is why it’s surprising his last two movies had had such dull acting. I’d like to see him him take a crack at someone else’s script.

  • Bob Loblaw

    Agree with Grammar — The Sixth Sense had both good storytelling and a good gimmick. But since then, Shyamalan’s been relying on just the gimmick — the twist — to tell the story.

  • Jason C.

    There’s a gimmick in The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and The Village not all of his films have a gimmick.

  • Zo

    I’m glad you mentioned “The Happening” as an under-appreciated gem. I had been giggling along with the audience when I saw it at the theater, uncomfortably so at the awful acting… but somehow now that it’s on premium cable often this summer, and I’ve caught it again— watching it ALONE, I discovered that I really enjoyed it. To the point that I bought it on DVD. Go figure.

    • Devin Faraci

      It’s horrible and moronic.

    • Mr. Burns

      Actually, I can’t figure. The Happening was completely abysmal. You should have stuck with your first impression.

    • BonBon

      Really? Someone can’t just have an opinion on here anymore?

      All Zo did was just mention that she liked the movie, not try to force anyone else to.

      If it’s not to your taste, then fine, but there’s no need to tell anyone they can’t like it.

  • Rob Grizzly

    What theater is letting people in with video cameras?

    With every new movie people keep hoping M night will return to his past glory. With every new movie he disappoints. And yet this cycle repeats.

    And still, M Night banks on his name alone to sell a movie. He’s never been able to take constructive criticism with his failures, and continues to think he can do no wrong.

    It’s good (and right) to see audiences catching wise to this hack.

    And declaring The Happening an underappreciated gem? Don’t encourage him, Kate Ward!

  • Jonny

    I think the problem that M. Night has is that he has too much power…. writer, director, producer…. sometimes actor. Tough to see faults in your own work and who’s going to tell him otherwise? I’d love to see him write a script and have someone else direct it or direct a script that was written by somebody else.

  • Renee

    Sadly, I had a lot of faith in M Night after “The Sixth Sense” (which upon first viewing I LOVED), but after that it’s been disappointment after disappointment. What’s even sadder…I’ll probably see “Devil”, too. Thing is, this time he didn’t direct or write the screenplay, so I’m hoping it’ll be good. *fingers crossed*

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