Breakout for child star Haley Joel Osment, the young actor plays Cole here. Only 10 years old, Cole does, in fact, see dead people, and mostly dead people who have died horrible deaths. Still, the child tries to help them. This is a terrific “gift” for the thoughtful guy who doesn’t ask for his power and doesn’t want it. Bruce Willis’ child psychologist tries to help in more ways than one. The Sixth Sense Six were nominated for Oscars (which is great because Oscars ignore horror), including Best Supporting Actor and Actress for Osment and Toni Collette, who plays his mother. It’s a wonderful film, and if you think “Am I proud of him?” Paul, do you have a heart too? – RF
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
One could argue Tim Burton holds the record for the most beheadings in a single movie, though. A sleepy hollow Not quite a horror movie. From a certain perspective, which we imagine includes Burton, it looks like a very dry comedy. It’s just dripping in foreboding Halloween atmosphere. Loosely based on Washington Irving’s origins of American horror and fairy tales, The Legend of Sleepy HollowThe movie follows Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane—now a fancy-pants New York City constable instead of a schoolteacher.
In this reimagining, Ichabod is sent to track down the perpetrator of a series of gruesome beheadings in the quiet hamlet of Sleepy Hollow. Alas, when he gets there on All Hallows Eve, all they can tell is that it was a headless horse that rose from its grave to claim a random head before spending its night back in Hell! It’s the evil, depraved stuff that allows Burton to draw on his childhood watching Hammer horror movies and then paint that aesthetic in his own favorite shade of black.
In lesser hands, it might be grotesque, but when Burton was at the height of his powers, it’s compelling, especially thanks to an all-star cast of Christina Ricci, Michael Gambon, Hammer’s own Michael Gough, Miranda Richardson. The Sir Christopher Lee, and best of all, Christopher Walken, hilariously camp as the Headless Horseman in scenes before earning his nickname. – DC
Westerns had a bit of a renaissance in the 1990s. In terms of staying power, we now collectively think of Clint Eastwood as the ultimate classic in the genre, unforgiven (1992). But actually it started with a lot of dates Dances with Wolves (1990), Kevin Costner’s Oscar-winning Civil War veteran who goes west to “live”—eventually with idealized Native American tribes. it was avatar of its day.
Yes, that’s why Ravenous turns it on its head when Guy Pearce’s Civil War coward, who is a hair’s breadth from court martial and execution, enters an American cavalry outpost where instead of romantic ideas of noble savages… he finds cannibals. Especially a cannibal who used to be a cavalryman himself (Robert Carlyle) but now sees his old countrymen as breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s a delightfully mean-spirited dark comedy that never bites off more than it can chew. And it chews a lot. – DC