M Night Shyamalan Returning to His Thriller Roots

Everest, Rock the Kasbah, The Visit

M Night Shyamalan

Director M Night Shyamalan is looking to turn things back around. The Sixth Sense’s M. Night Shyamalan is reportedly making a return to his thriller roots with his next feature film entitled Sundowning. The film will bring the auteur back to the unsettling genre fare that rocketed him to massive worldwide success.

Sundowning is said to star character actress Kathryn Hahn and in demand child actor Ed Oxenbould. In the film, while a single mother’s two young children are off visiting their grandparents, things begin to go horribly wrong for her. Hahn will star as the mother while Oxenbould plays the son who is highly protective of his sister. M Night Shyamalan’s return to his thriller roots offers no further plot points or details beyond that at this time. The filmmaker is well-documented for his love of surprising audiences through mystery and unexpected twists and turns. One clue to unlock the mystery may come from the title. The term “sundowning” refers to the psychological phenomenon found in patients suffering from a form of dementia. Symptoms are said to include increased feelings of restlessness as well as confusion, agitation and frequent mood swings.

The film is currently being produced by M Night Shyamalan with Marc Bienstock and Ashwin Rajan. Principal production on Sundowning is rumored to be nearly completion in M Night’s home state of Pennsylvania. The film is reportedly a lower budget film movie especially when compared to the monster price tags attached to Shyamalan’s previous two films, the summer tentpoles After Earth and The Last Airbender.

M Night Shyamalan has had a rough couple of years, critically speaking. The filmmaker exploded onto the scene with The Sixth Sense which earned him an Academy award nomination for his work. Shyamalan’s follow-up features Unbreakable and Signs were also well received critically and commercially. In 2004, M Night released what many consider to be his first misstep with The Village. Since then, the auteur has struggled to achieve the same level of adoration that was met with his first few thriller films.  

Kathryn Hahn is also quickly becoming one of the most in demand character actresses working today. The actress recently received rave reviews for her work in Jill Soloway’s independent dramedy Afternoon Delight. Hahn recent credits include The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty and comedy hit We’re The Millers as well as appearances on TV’s Parks And Recreation and Girls. Hahn has also been cast to star in the Disney tentpole Tomorrowland with George Clooney directed by The Incredibles and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol filmmaker Brad Bird. Kathryn Hahn can currently been seen in the dark comedy Bad Words starring and directed by Arrested Development’s Jason Bateman. Rising child star Ed Oxenbould meanwhile has been cast in the lead role in Disney’s big screen adaptation of the incredibly popular children’s book Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day alongside Jennifer Garner and Steve Carell.

The return of M Night Shyamalan to his thriller roots is highly anticipated by his loyal fan base and may also bring the once-beloved auteur back into the critic’s warm embraces. M Night’s most recent film was the Razzie nominated worst movie of the year After Earth, starring Will Smith and his son, Jaden.

By Benjamin Murray


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