If you’re as big a fan of suspenseful storytelling, intricate plot twists, and a touch of the supernatural as I am, then you’re in for a treat. Night Shyamalan movies are a goldmine of cinematic gems that have kept us on the edge of our seats and craving more.
From spine-chilling mysteries to mind-bending narratives, Shyamalan has carved a unique niche in filmmaking.
So, if you’re eager to dive into his captivating universe, this article is your guide to the top 10 must-watch movies by the master of suspense himself.
Get ready for a journey into the extraordinary.
1 ‘The Sixth Sense’ (1999)
IMDb: 8.2/10 1M | Popularity: 399 | Top 250: #144 | Metascore:
Cast: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
It’s only possible to kick off a list of Shyamalan’s best by mentioning The Sixth Sense. This iconic film catapulted him into the limelight, and for good reason.
Starring Bruce Willis and a young Haley Joel Osment, the movie revolves around a young boy who claims to see and communicate with the dead.
The spine-chilling atmosphere and that unforgettable twist ending make this movie an absolute must-see.
As a fan, I can attest that this film showcases Shyamalan’s knack for weaving psychological tension and supernatural elements into a gripping narrative.
2 ‘The Lady in the Water’ (2006)
IMDb: 5.5/10 102K | Popularity: 4321 | Metascore:
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeffrey Wright
Perhaps one of the most well-known M. Night Shyamalan movies of all time. The Lady in the Water started my love for his movies and made me a die-hard fan.
The movie follows Cleveland Heep, who discovers a beautiful woman in his complex pool.
The plot revolves around the finding that she is actually not human but instead a water nymph from a fairytale.
In a daring and enchanting rescue mission, he pushes past his limitations to help her return to her magical underwater home.
If you are anything like me and love fantasy and thrilling storylines, I highly recommend this Shyamalan classic.
3 ‘Unbreakable’ (2000)
IMDb: 7.3/10 431K | Popularity: 1822 | Metascore:
Cast: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright
Unbreakable is a hidden gem in Shyamalan’s filmography, exploring the concept of real-life superheroes and villains in the modern world.
With Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson delivering powerhouse performances, this film is a character-driven exploration of identity, purpose, and the boundaries of human potential.
I appreciate how Shyamalan takes a novel approach to the superhero genre, focusing on the psychological and emotional aspects rather than flashy visuals.
4 ‘Split’ (2016)
IMDb: 7.3/10 526K | Popularity: 632 | Metascore:
Cast: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson
James McAvoy‘s tour de force performance in Split showcases Shyamalan’s unique ability to create tension and unease within confined spaces.
This movie follows a man with dissociative identity disorder who chloroforms and kidnaps three girls.
McAvoy’s seamless transitions between personalities are nothing short of mesmerizing, and Shyamalan’s direction keeps the audience guessing until the end.
Split is a testament to the director’s skill in creating complex characters and keeping viewers engaged through suspenseful storytelling.
5 ‘The Village’ (2004)
IMDb: 6.6/10 271K | Popularity: 1454 | Metascore:
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, Joaquin Phoenix
The Village is a divisive entry in Shyamalan’s filmography, but it’s one that I find intriguing.
Set in a seemingly 19th-century village surrounded by woods inhabited by mysterious creatures, the film explores themes of fear, isolation, and the lengths people will go to protect their loved ones.
While some critics were disappointed by the twist, I appreciate the film’s atmospheric tension and exploration of human psychology.
6 ‘Signs’ (2002)
IMDb: 6.8/10 376K | Popularity: 1215 | Metascore:
Cast: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin
Signs takes a deep dive into the unknown, blending family drama with an eerie exploration of extraterrestrial phenomena.
Mel Gibson‘s portrayal of a former reverend grappling with faith, set against the backdrop of an alien invasion, makes for a thought-provoking and suspenseful experience.
Shyamalan’s ability to infuse seemingly ordinary scenarios with an uncanny sense of dread shines through in this movie.
As I watched it, I found myself both engrossed and unsettled, a testament to Shyamalan’s skill at crafting tension.
7 ‘The Visit’ (2015)
IMDb: 6.2/10 144K | Popularity: 1797 | Metascore:
Cast: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan
The Visit marks a return to Shyamalan’s roots in suspense and horror, showcasing his ability to create tension within the dynamics of a family.
It follows two siblings who visit their grandparents’ remote farm only to discover unsettling and bizarre behavior.
Shyamalan expertly builds suspense through found footage-style filming, creating an atmosphere of unease that keeps audiences guessing.
As a fan, I appreciate the film’s ability to instill fear through psychological manipulation rather than relying on gratuitous gore.
8 ‘Old’ (2021)
IMDb: 5.8/10 146K | Popularity: 294 | Metascore:
Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell
Old may be one of Shyamalan’s recent releases, but it’s already making waves. The film centers on a group of vacationers aging rapidly on a secluded beach.
Shyamalan’s exploration of time, mortality, and the fragility of human existence is thought-provoking, and the film’s unique premise keeps viewers engaged.
While the twist might not be his most mind-bending, Old is a testament to Shyamalan’s continued dedication to pushing the boundaries of storytelling for me.
9 ‘The Happening’ (2008)
IMDb: 5.0/10 213K | Popularity: 3113 | Metascore:
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo
The Happening is often considered one of Shyamalan’s less successful films, but it deserves recognition for its audacity and unique premise.
The film follows a series of mysterious and inexplicable suicides and mass hysteria caused by an unknown phenomenon.
While the execution might not be flawless, I appreciate the film’s exploration of the environment’s impact on human behavior and the tension it builds around an unseen threat.
10 ‘After Earth’ (2013)
IMDb: 4.8/10 206K | Metascore:
Cast: Jaden Smith, David Denman, Will Smith
Join Cypher (Will Smith) and Kitai (Jaden Smith) on an intergalactic space mission that ends in a crash landing.
After the father and son duo in film and real-life crash onto the now barren and dangerous planet Earth, Kitai is set out on a daunting task to find any help for his injured father.
Although not in the typical Shyamalan style, this film still keeps its reputation as a gripping and suspenseful story.
I thoroughly enjoyed the dynamic between the two as they reconnected through troubling times. It kept me on my toes as unexpected events happened on the unrecognizable future Earth.
My M. Night Shyamalan Experience
As a devoted fan of M. Night Shyamalan‘s work, exploring his filmography has been nothing short of a thrilling adventure.
From the heart-pounding moments in The Sixth Sense to the mind-bending twists of Split, each of his movies has left an indelible mark on me.
Shyamalan’s ability to craft tension, weave intricate narratives, and deliver those iconic plot twists is a testament to his storytelling prowess.
So, fellow enthusiasts, I encourage you to grab your popcorn, dim the lights, and immerse yourselves in the captivating world of M. Night Shyamalan‘s cinema.
Top 10 Must-Watch M. Night Shyamalan Movies
Get ready for a cinematic experience that challenges your perceptions and leaves you pondering the mysteries of the unknown.
Pia Vermaak is an accomplished digital marketing agency owner and professional content writer with a remarkable track record in the industry.
With her keen strategic insights and creative flair, she has carved a niche for herself as a trusted expert in the field.
Whether it’s engaging blog posts, persuasive website copy, or compelling social media content, Pia’s words have the power to captivate and inspire audiences.