It’s always fascinating to learn a director’s favorite movie in their own filmography. For instance, Alfred Hitchcock’s preferred film of his own was Shadow of a Doubt because “he loved the thought of bringing menace into a small town,” as his daughter explained. That is not the answer I would have expected. The same goes for M. Night Shyamalan.
The filmmaker once crowned “the next Hitchcock” was asked to name his personal favorites in an interview with GQ. He did not answer with The Sixth Sense, the Oscar-nominated box office sensation that is generally considered to be his masterpiece.
“The ones I have most affinity for are the ones that have maintained that quirky nature. Unbreakable, and Lady in the Water, and The Visit, and this movie,” Shyamalan answered, referring to his new feature, Old. “The ones that are poky.” What does “poky” mean? “The edges aren’t rubbed off,” he explained, using Old as an example. “I’ve been able to, especially in the photography and the casting and the balance between the tragedy and the oddness of it… It had enough breadth for me to be here and different.” Shyamalan thinks The Sixth Sense has a “suit and tie quality” to it. He’s attracted to the shagginess in his oeuvre, which explains why he’s fond of Lady in the Water.
Also not listed among Shyamalan’s favorites: The Last Airbender. Even he can’t defend it.