there are a lot of reasons to dislike this film, but i didn’t really bother myself with any of those because i was too busy laughing and going along for the ride. sure the plot is implausible and everyone seems to buy into the whole story far too easily, but that’s part of the point. shyamalan is a clever guy and he shows it here as well as he ever has. he’s completely aware of what he’s doing, even going so far as including a character who is an overly aware film critic. shyamalan knows what the cliches, tricks and formulas are and he plays with them. he is able to overcome the “oh whatever” factor through liberal use of comic relief. and that’s actually what the film rests on more than anything else. the film is more funny than it is scary. further, the ensemble does a very good job of keeping things fresh, funny and interesting.
christopher doyle, surprisingly, is the cinematographer here. he specializes in vibrant colors and asian cinema, but shows neither of those characteristics here. he’s most well known for his work with wong kar-wai and his amazing work on the jet li flick “hero.” he’s also worked on the psycho remake, rabbit-proof fence and the quiet american. here, though, he moves the camera well and works well with muted colors. he’s clearly one of the better talents working today.
this isn’t a brilliant work, but it isn’t worthy of the panning it’s likely to get either. it’s a good, interesting film from a guy who clearly knows about film.Watched in theater