5. His scariest scenes come from real life
Aliens aside, nothing is as scary as the demons you don’t see. Shyamalan’s most haunting childhood memory eventually became inspiration for one of his most memorable scenes. Here’s how he tells it:
“One time my family and I came home from shopping in the station wagon, and we pulled up to the house and our front door was open. For the first minute we all just sat in the car staring at the front door. And we were like—Oh my God…let’s call the police. But this was before cell phones or anything, so we were sitting there, and we didn’t know what to do, until my dad decided, ‘I’m gonna get the dog and I’m gonna go in there.’
Now, just to give you a sense, my dad’s basically 5’7” with a potbelly. This isn’t Hulk Hogan here, this is a bald little Indian dude. So I was like, ‘Dad…most female volleyball players could KILL you, and you’re gonna take our dog (who basically just licks everyone), and you’re gonna go in there and do what? What are you gonna find in there?’ He didn’t know, but we sat in the car and watched as he went inside.
Well it turned out, as we were leaving earlier, the doormat had just flipped over and popped the door back open. So that’s all it was. But for that moment, watching my dad walk into the house, we were all freaked out. And when he came back outside he said, ‘You know…I was really scared walking into the house, because I thought there was gonna be some person sitting on the bed, waiting for me.’
When he said that line, I was forever traumatized. And that image—coming up the stairs and there’s some crazy person sitting on your bed—became the first scene of The Sixth Sense.”
After Earth opens today
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