There are a very small handful of filmmakers whose reputation, whose cult — whatever is left of it — rests so completely on one movie. Polling Facebook pals yields a number of good answers: Kevin Smith, John Singleton, mean people who talk smack about Orson Welles.
But I submit that Shyamalan deserves special pleading. No other contemporary filmmaker so profoundly wanted to be Spielberg; no other all but anointed himself the Amblin man’s heir after 1999’s ‘The Sixth Sense,” whose craft, sharp performances and vaunted twist ending wowed many filmgoers — even as it bored horror nerds. And no other filmmaker failed so consistently to hit those expectations.