M Night: time for a smack?

It's becoming increasingly clear that M Night Shyamalan is getting a little bit big for his spooky boots. The evidence? Well, most damning of all is the steady decline in quality of the man's movies. After a superb debut with the massively successful 'The Sixth Sense', his film's have grown steadily more predictable, self-regarding and onerous. This reached a nadir with the breathtakingly arrogant, ‘The Village’, a movie so smug and self-satisfied that it seemed almost unwilling to reveal its own, frankly ridiculous, ‘twist’ to a disbelieving audience. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fine film technically and the cast did what they could with the cod-Amish dialogue, but never have I felt so directly condescended to in a film than during its closing 20 minutes of portentous ‘twists’, particularly his own cameo.

Oh God, the cameos. They’re getting longer. It’s one thing to pop up briefly (and preferably unidentifiably) in one’s own movies, but in the last few he’s assigned himself roles, lines, plot points and the like: “Look! I’m featuring myself in the reflection of the medicine cabinet! NO, LOOK, IT’S REALLY SUBTLE AND UNDERSTATED. DON’T YOU GET IT?”

And I hate that name. I understand why someone wouldn’t necessarily want to identify themselves as being called Manoj Nelliyattu, but making up the spooky sobriquet ‘Night’ and pointing your eyebrows at interviewers in a dull-eyed, David Blane-esque attempt to appear ‘mysterious’ is taking it a step too far. Better to call himself ‘Nightie’ and make his precious cameos in a stylish slip and fluffy slippers.

Finally there’s ‘The Buried Secret of M Night Shyamalan’, a two hour documentary produced for the Sci-Fi Channel that ostensibly provided insights into some of the spooky goings on in the director’s own life; actually it was a deliberate hoax, made with the Great One’s blessing, and as sure a sign of his burgeoning narcissism as one could wish not to see.

I don’t need to see any more. I believe Mr Shyamalan has earned a visit from Mr and Mrs Smack. The time has come to let Night fall.

Last updated: 19/04/2018 10:26:25

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