10. The inexplicable use of a Native American voice as a narrator to the cave-drawing animation that introduces the movie. No, M. Night, this isn’t an actual Native American yarn- you wrote it. And there aren’t any Native Americans in the story. But I guess it gives it that “classic” vibe, huh?
9. (tie) Ditto with both the Bob Dylan songs on the soundtrack. The work of an unclassifiable poetic visionary- nice connotation to pad the story with, I guess.
9. (tie) The kid reads future events off cereal boxes and, again, no one thinks he could be wrong? Nor bats an eye when it he turns out he is? “Oh shit- the kid’s wrong! How could that’ve happened!”
8. Shyamalan actually provides a device to allow Giamatti to stay underwater (he finds upside down jam jars full of air) but waits until, like, 6 minutes have passed to actually provide it.
7. Paul Giamatti finds upside down jam jars full of air underwater (Why does the nymph need these? How did she get them down there?!)
6. Every other Shyamalan movie has a story to justify its tonally somber narrative- a kid who sees dead people, a grieving widower- except this one. For some reason the gang at the regular ol’ apartment complex get as mournful and heavy-handed a story-telling as those folk hiding away in The Village.
5. (tie) M. Night’s character and his lady friend seem like a couple- until he mentions his sister and it turns out he’s referring to his lady friend.
5. (tie) Shyamalan somehow thinks its acceptable to exploit both the cliché of the mystical Asian lady as well as the younger Asian daughter’s accent for laughs, but expects audiences to be culturally aware enough to understand that an Indian brother and sister would live together.
4. Paul Giamatti keeps going nagging the elderly Asian lady to tell him more about the story containing crucial plot points instead of using FUCKING GOOGLE. (A friend of mine argued that everyone in the low-budget apartment building seemed poor, and ergo, didn’t have a computer with internet access. But even if that were the case for the entire apartment building- HOOF IT UP THE STEET TO AN INTERNET CAFÉ, BUDDY.)
3. After refusing to tell Shyamalan anything beyond the fact that he’ll die in his lifetime, the nymph gives in and tells Shyamalan exactly when he’ll die, thereby shattering any message about the indefiniteness of life that the audience could apply to themselves.
2. Shyamalan plays a visionary writer and none of the producers stepped in and said, “Hey, M. Night? Look, we know this movie means a lot to you, but you can’t act. Those scenes with your sister? Yeah, it looks like you’re a couple. It’s weird. People could barely stand your 3 minutes of screen time in The Village… you already kill off a movie critic in this thing- quite frankly we think that’s where we think you should draw the line on this pretentious shit. I mean really- what the fuck does that ‘M’ stand for anyway?”
1. Paul Giamatti tells roughly thirty people about a mystical nymph- called a “narf”- that lives in the swimming pool and everyone’s just cool with it?