You remember Shyamalan’s name from his ‘90s and early 2000s hits including The Sixth Sense (1999), Unbreakable (2000), and Signs (2002). While The Sixth Sense was not the director’s first directional effort, it was one of his very early features that had some critics touting that Shyamalan was one of the most promising directors to arise in Hollywood. It was not many years later, however, that Shyamalan’s work began to fall by the wayside, producing flops including Lady in the Water (2006), The Happening (2008), The Last Airbender (2010), and most recently the Will Smith vehicle After Earth (2013). It has been over a decade since Shyamalan has produced a commercially and critically successful film, with many critics begging to see the “old Shyamalan” that we saw in the late ‘90s.
The second recent example, Neil Blomkamp, known universally for his directional debut with the critically acclaimed sci-fi film, District 9 (2009), has since not been able to replicate his original success, as his next effort Elysium (2013) did not perform well commercially and was regarded as a significant “step down” by many critics who wanted to see a film as socially relevant and original as District 9. Blomkamp’s latest film, Chappie (2015), another sci-fi film dealing with emotions of artificial intelligence, was met with mostly negative reviews and underperformed at the box office. Some critics went as far as noting that they hope Blomkamp does not become another Shyamalan.
IMDB. 2015. 09 Apr. 2015. <http://www.imdb.com>.