I’ll never forget the first time I saw dead people walking right past me. It was as chilling as it was heartbreaking.
Now I see dead people all the time. They’re everywhere. Just like the kid in The Sixth Sense movie who made the quote so famous.
It’s weird. Since then, I’ve gotten somewhat used to it, but the experience remains surreal.
M. Night Shyamalan tells the story of characters intersecting at the juncture of life and death.
What makes this story so compelling is how this work of fiction is so close to reality, as we’ll discuss very soon.
That’s the case with all good works of fiction. They must reflect enough reality to be believable, because truth really is stranger than fiction.
As with any compelling story, there’s more to the plot than meets the eye.
Isn’t that how it is with any true classic?
When people are still talking about the story years later and discovering these hidden back stories, you know you’re onto something special.
It’s like the secret twist nobody noticed because they are talking about the same secret twist EVERYBODY’s talking about.
So you will see some angles here you never saw in any other review.
If you’ve ever seen this masterpiece thriller, you will never forget the haunting way young Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) whispered “I see dead people.”
As this amazing story unfolds, you learn that young Cole said some other things that were every bit as chilling as that famous line.
This movie traverses the border between life and death multiple times. And it does it in an unforgettable way.
This was M. Night Shyamalan’s big breakout hit movie.
It’s a strange and wonderful story about this precocious young boy who goes to see a counselor named Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) because he sees strange things.
The most amazing thing about the movie is the profound things Cole says.
But Crowe also says some things that really make you think.
These quotes show amazing sensitivity to the subject of life and death. But it still leaves some interpretation open to the viewer.
Here are some of the movie’s most poignant quotes:
I See Dead People –Quotes from The Sixth Sense
Cole Sear tells Dr. Crowe “I see dead people” in that loud, haunting whisper you’ll never forget if you’ve seen the movie. When Crowe asks where he sees them, his reply is “everywhere.” Go ahead. Listen in.
Cole Sear: I want to tell you my secret now.
Dr. Malcolm Crowe: OK.
Cole Sear: I see dead people.
Dr. Malcolm Crowe: In your dreams?
Cole Sear: (Shakes head no)
Dr. Malcolm Crowe: While you’re awake? Dead people like, in graves? In coffins?
Cole Sear: (Nods in agreement)
Cole Sear: Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re dead.
Dr. Malcolm Crowe: how often do you see them?
Cole Sear: all the time, they’re everywhere; they only see what they want to see
Dr. Malcolm Crowe: How often do you see them?
Cole Sear: All the time. They’re everywhere.
Have I ever told you? You sound like Dr. Seuss when you’re drunk.”
Cole Sear: She wanted me to tell you…
Lynn Sear: Cole, please stop…
Cole Sear: She wanted me to tell you she saw you dance. She said, when you were little, you and her had a fight, right before your dance recital. You thought she didn’t come see you dance. She did. She hid in the back so you wouldn’t see. She said you were like an angel. She said you came to the place where they buried her. Asked her a question? She said the answer is… “Every day.” What did you ask?
The movie trailer has more amazing snippets from other unsettling scenes:
You can see more great quotes from The Sixth Sense here.
I See Dead People –The Sixth Sense Movie Cast
Then-child actor Haley Joel Osment plays the part of a young lad named Cole Sear who has this same unnerving ability to see the dead.
Most of these walking dead are carrying on as though they were still alive, seemingly unaware of reality.
But young Cole has a way of seeing them and discerning the living from the dead.
It’s all the more unnerving, because –as we learn later- most living folks don’t see the dead at all. Only Cole does.
Cole’s peculiar perceptions place him in a special group of children, so he ends up meeting with child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis).
The discussions between the young child and the sophisticated doctor make some of the most memorable moments –and generate the most unnerving quotes- of the movie.
Osment and Willis get the most screen time in the movie.
They are both brilliant actors, but Osment absolutely nails the part of the spooky, yet vulnerable Cole.
Donnie Wahlberg is exquisite in his portrayal of the bony, pathetic Vincent Grey and Toni Collette shows a lot of range as Lynn Sear, Cole’s mom.
Here’s the unforgettable clip of Wahlberg’s performance, (he lost 43 lbs. to play the part) which he said “took him to a dark place.”
While these main characters are the most memorable –and they take up the most screen time- other supporting actors carry the story so well.
There’s the little girl who was poisoned by her own mother. Her name is Kyra Collins. She’s hauntingly played by Mischa Barton.
She pushes a VHS video cassette (remember those?) toward Cole from underneath a hospital bed. The cassette has a recording of her poisoning on it.
You can view the rest of the cast credits here.
I See Dead People -The Sixth Sense Movie Summary
In short, we learn early on of a young boy named Cole who sees dead people.
He tells his mother some things she finds disturbing, so she sends Cole to a child psychologist named Dr. Malcolm Crowe.
Crowe asks Cole questions that lead the audience through the story until we ultimately learn that Crowe is already dead and he’s one of the dead people Cole’s been seeing all along.
Since Crowe is only one of the dead people Cole sees, we are introduced to many others as the story unfolds.
My only disappointment in the film is that once Dr. Crowe learns that he is in fact dead, he says goodbye to his wife that last time and departs, but we’re not sure where to.
I Still See Dead People
The walking dead are people who only believe what they want to believe.
And they never see each other. This world has long had a plentiful supply of them.
These days, the dead can still be seen everywhere –carrying on their lives as though they were still living.
Oblivious to reality, they are like cut flowers –seemingly not knowing they’ve been separated from their roots -slowly fading, drying and curling up.
And –just like young Cole said “they don’t even know they’re dead.”
I see them all the time. You might, too -if you know what you’re looking for.
And once you begin seeing them, you start feeling the same way Cole feels.
Dead Man Walking is another film that more-than-touches on the subject.
A man in that situation is under the death penalty so he is considered already dead even though he’s still alive.
This is where we can all see ourselves in these stories.
Everybody knows there’s something not right about this world. In response, GK Chesterton famously wrote “I am.”
Chesterton reminds us that when confronted with something gone wrong, how seldom it is that we look to ourselves.
People tend to assume somebody else is the cause of problems rather than themselves.
A long time ago near the Sea of Galilee, there was a man who lived in a graveyard. He was haunted.
He was possessed by many demons, and nobody could help him because of the sheer demonic power that had overcome him.
Well-meaning people tried to chain him up to protect him from himself because his behavior was so self-destructive.
The demonic power was so strong that he easily broke the chains.
A stranger came and helped him. He was no ordinary stranger.
He had power over demons. This stranger gave the grave-dweller his life back.
He cast the demons out of this man and the demons fled into a herd of swine. The swine stampeded down a cliff into the sea.
The man –now alive again and in his right mind- asked to follow the stranger who helped him.
Jesus also raised the dead with many witnesses present. In so doing, he demonstrated his complete mastery of life and death –something only God can do.
People are fascinated –and terrified- of death.
Almost everybody believes in some kind of afterlife, but few seem confident of what goes on over there.
To put it another way: Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. They believe what they want to believe.
Jesus displayed profound wisdom, knowledge and understanding. People said “no one ever spoke like this man!”
The Sixth Sense is such a chilling story because of our collective ignorance of the goings on on the other side.
A great thriller depends on this mystery and plays on the minds of those who don’t know what lies on the other side.
But what lies on the other side is not such a mystery at all. The way there is well-known, even if it’s not talked about that much.
It’s known, because it was shown by a man who went there and came back.
And it wasn’t just any man, but a very peculiar man who said what would happen before it happened.
It was this same man who helped that denizen of the graveyard get his life back.
This is where there’s hope for those many living dead –who are walking around as if they are still alive.
I See People Who Were Dead and Are Now Alive
It’s one thing to raise others from the dead. But just try dying and then getting raised up yourself.
You don’t see that every day. And that’s exactly what happened to Jesus.
His resurrection is a historical fact observed by many people who carried on their lives for decades displaying their belief of what they had seen with their eyes and that their hands had touched. And they displayed their beliefs at great personal expense, many paying for it with their own lives.
But it goes deeper than that. He was no ordinary man. Sometimes you learn more about a man by what his enemies say than by what his friends say.
Here’s what his enemies said about him: “You –by calling yourself to be the Son of God, make yourself out to be God.”
Jesus Christ not only claimed to be God. He backed it up with the deeds of God.
One of his disciples, in a moment of discouragement asked “Are you the one who is to come? Or should we look for another?”
And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (emphasis added)
Here’s where to see more Bible prophecies from the Hebrew Scriptures fulfilled by Jesus Christ.
His closest followers –his disciples- were commanded to stop preaching about him to the point of death.
Every single one preached about the death, the burial and the resurrection of Jesus Christ until the authorities made good on their threats.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. Ephesians 2:1-3 (emphasis added)
Many formerly dead people joined the living after putting their faith in him.
They stopped believing what they wanted to believe, and they started believing the truth.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved —Ephesians 2:4-5 (emphasis added)
There’s ample literary and historical evidence of the life and times of Jesus. And there’s ample evidence Jesus is who he said he is. The wise still seek him and find him. In him they find life -and that life in abundance.
Yet many people suppress the clear and obvious truth.
So once you know these things, you start to feel the way Cole felt when he saw all those people walking around as though they were still alive.
Yet in the face of all the evidence, many folks still believe what they want to believe.
Now that is chilling.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. Rev 20:12, ESV
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment… Hebrews 9:27, ESV
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live… John 11:25, ESV
and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel… 2 Timothy 1:10.