an open letter to the night

Dear M. Night Shyamalan,

How are you? Life going okay? Good. Glad to hear it.

Listen, I’m happy for you that your career seems to be going well. I was one of those people who didn’t know how The Sixth Sense was going to end until the big reveal. I feel like the way people reacted to that movie was kind of an indicator of their personality, don’t you? Some people had to come out of it saying, “Oh, I knew all along,” even though they didn’t. I hate those people.

I did think that the alien that you showed us after two hours of Signs was pretty ridiculous. I think I compared it to a $15.99 Target Halloween costume. No offense, but what the hell were you thinking with that? You’re obviously an intelligent guy, and why would you ever write a movie about aliens and then show one at the very end and have it live up to absolutely every stereotype we have of them from bad TV movies… big head, scaly skin, just that generic alien look. I know it’s bad when it doesn’t even scare ME. You should have had the aliens look human, because in the end, that’s really how they’ll get us.

Also, is the word Night really in your name, or did you just add it to be dark and mysterious? I feel like we should have dinner and discuss this. I have some more questions.

I saw that movie of yours with Samuel L. I didn’t have much of an opinion of it. Something about breaking glass? I didn’t see that other one about the woods and Joaquin Phoenix in a hood because it looked too scary. But I asked someone who had seen it to tell me the whole plot because it sounded like a neat concept, sort of like what I think Lost will turn out to be. That’s what I do with scary movies, because I’m often interested in the storyline but I know that if I see one of them, it will ruin my life a little bit because I won’t sleep for a month. Seriously, when I saw this other movie, The Movie That Will Not Be Named That Rhymes With The Swing, I was absolutely devastated. I’ve barely recovered. So I have to be careful. You understand. Or you don’t, because apparently nothing scares you.

I’m just not that way at all. I have no stomach for scariness or violence in movies or on TV. If one of the good guys gets killed, I get upset. I saw the first few minutes of the most recent season of 24 last fall, and it upset me when they killed the former president. I can’t deal with that stuff. I feel sad because they’ve been killed in this senseless way, and they have a family and friends that will miss them, and then I hate the fact that a TV show or movie that isn’t even real has made me feel that way. So I don’t watch anything that’s violent. This always surprises people. I guess I come across as more pro-violence. Secretly, I miss that show Providence.

Anyway. What I really want to talk to you about is your latest movie, The Lady in the Water. I’m going to have to request that you downsize your marketing budget. I’m glad that your name is something of a brand now; good for you. How many writers can claim that? But I can’t watch the previews for your movie anymore. I hate that the latest terrifying thing is a child singing a nursery rhyme slowly, with a few piano keys in the background. That shouldn’t be creepy!

I was having this conversation with someone that I work with earlier this year… one day we heard a bunch of giggling kids somewhere down the hall, and I said to him, “Isn’t it sad that laughing children now sound like the backdrop for a scary movie?” He understood, but he also paid money to see Saw II. Of course, I asked him to tell me the whole plot. I think it involved people getting their eyeballs cut out. Clearly, good times were had by all.

I heard that you intended Lady to be a bedtime story for your children. By chance, do you hate your children? Because if I were one of them, I wouldn’t want that kind of bedtime story. I mean, phantom wolves and creepy albino mermaids? Haven’t you ever heard of Goodnight Moon?

Maybe next time, you could come out with something a little more character driven and less “run from the crazy otherworld dog!” because honestly, you’re scaring me with these commercials. Poor Paul Giamatti; how’s he supposed to know what’s in the pool? If I were him I’d go tend to some other body of water that doesn’t have creatures emerging from it.

Anyway, think about it.

Sincerely,
Red

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