The filmmaker’s name on the marquee is a surefire way to guarantee ticket sales, but it’s also that simple: M. Night Shyamalan is an extremely talented storyteller who tells his stories in a way that’s easy for audiences to digest.

He also has an incredible gift with actors, which is one of the many reasons why he has such a strong track record of casting great performers for his films.

m night shyamalan style

Who Is m night shyamalan?

Born Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan in Puducherry, India, on August 6, 1970, M. Night Shyamalan is a well-known American film producer and screenwriter.

His movies have been a commercial success and garnered positive reviews from critics.

Touted as one of the most promising filmmakers of his generation, M. Night Shyamalan is known for directing movies with unexpected plot twists that are often considered “twist endings.”



Who Is M. Night Shyamalan?

He was born to Indian parents; his mother was a Malayali doctor and his father was a Tamil obstetrician and gynaecologist. 

His family settled in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania and he attended the Catholic schools there.

He has been making movies since 1992. His most famous movies are The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. 

M. Night Shyamalan’s Directing Style

The actor-turned-director’s movies have a certain something that marks them out as his. It’s not just his trademark use of colour and camera angles, but the way he directs his actors. 

Shyamalan doesn’t give notes to his leading men and women, instead allowing them to develop their own performances based on the script. Shyamalan’s directing style is about trust, says producer Ashwin Rajan, “He doesn’t want to say too much to them because he wants the actors to go with their instinct.”

It’s a risky approach, but it paid off when Bruce Willis agreed to make The Sixth Sense after reading just a few pages of the screenplay. He was convinced by Shyamalan’s passionate direction for the film’s young stars. 

Willis told MTV News, “I got to see some footage of M. Night working with these young kids who were so good in this movie.”

When Bryce Dallas Howard turned up for her first meeting with Shyamalan she was handed a copy of the script and an iPod. He told her to listen to this while you read, you’ll be great. 

While she listened to music, he filmed her. And that was how he directed her in The Village.

M. Night Shyamalan Endings

For those who don’t know, Shyamalan became very popular in 1999 when he released The Sixth Sense, which went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of that year. The film was a hit because everyone loved the twist ending where Bruce Willis’ character was dead the whole time.

The success of The Sixth Sense earned Shyamalan more money and Hollywood clout than any other filmmaker in their early 20s could imagine. And for a while, he continued to deliver amazing twist endings, including Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002), and The Village (2004). 

But as time went on, something changed. His films began having bad reviews, including Lady in the Water (2006), The Happening (2008), and After Earth (2013). 

  1. Night Shyamalan is back in the headlines, with the release of his recent movie Split. But this time it’s not all good news. 

There has been some controversy over the film’s twist ending and whether or not it follows the rules of Shyamalan’s previous films.

M. Night Shyamalan Hiding In Plain Sight

  1. Night Shyamalan is one of my favorite directors because he can be so unpredictable. He has written, directed, and produced some of the most creative films of the past two decades — and some of the worst.

As a writer and director, Shyamalan is like the anti-Cloverfield monster — no matter how terrible his movies are, they always have some redeeming quality that keeps fans coming back for more. 

Shyamalan’s biggest strength is his ability to hide in plain sight.

The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs are all masterful examples of hiding a twist in plain sight without revealing anything about it until the very end of the movie. 

Shyamalan’s weakness is that he’ll throw out as many twists as possible at any given time and hope one will stick.

Because I love M. Night Shyamalan’s work, this is the moment where I could see him hiding in plain sight:

The Village (2004)

The Village had a lot going for it. It was an original story with great actors like Joaquin Phoenix and Sigourney Weaver. 

It also had one of M. Night Shyamalan’s best twists — and nobody saw it coming.

The twist? The monsters aren’t actually monsters at all.

The M. Night Shyamalan Twist

Alfred Hitchcock had his MacGuffin. M. Night Shyamalan has his twist.

Hitchcock’s MacGuffin is the mysterious, plot-driving item that characters in his films pursue but whose actual purpose is irrelevant to the audience. 

The term comes from the 1941 Hitchcock film Suspicion, in which a British officer’s wife asks what a mysterious package contains, and he replies, “A MacGuffin.”

The term has since been broadened to include any plot device that drives the action of a story but doesn’t have to be resolved or explained by the end of it. 

A twist is similar in that it is an unexpected revelation at the end of a narrative that changes everything we thought we knew about events leading up to it.

It can be used as a plot device or simply to keep audiences on their toes, wondering what’s coming next.