NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 03: M. Night Shyamalan attends 
the Servant Panel during New York Comic Con at Hammerstein Ballroom on October 03, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for ReedPOP )
Movies - TV
The Fake Documentary That Backfired On M. Night Shyamalan's The Village
Although his hit film, “The Sixth Sense,” turned M. Night Shyamalan into a household name, a series of critical flops turned the director into the butt of many jokes for his use of twist endings. Further damaging the public’s perception of the filmmaker was the mockumentary, “The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan,” an elaborate marketing stunt for “The Village.”
This head-scratching spoof, complete with ominous music and spooky VHS-like visual footage, explored Shyamalan’s life and career, depicting the filmmaker as an enigmatic, possibly supernatural figure. The “buried secret” of the mockumentary revealed that Shyamalan drowned in a lake as a young boy and communicated with spirits before being revived.
However, problems arose after SYFY channel president Bonnie Hammer admitted the documentary was a hoax before it aired, leading to disappointing viewership — so the plan to build hype by using his name and image backfired. “The Village” would be Shyamalan’s last true hit before suffering many flops, marking the beginning of the filmmaker’s fall from prominence.