M. Night Shyamalan
His first feature, Praying with Anger (1992), was loosely based on a trip he took back to India. But it was his third film (after 1998's Wide Awake) that sent Shyamalan's popularity soaring. Starring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense was one of the most successful films of 1999, earning Shyamalan and the film several Oscar nominations. The movie also established the director's penchant for "surprise-twist" endings.
Shyamalan followed his sudden success with a veiled look at the origins of a superhero in Unbreakable (2000) and the alien invasion thriller Signs (2002). He continued shocking his audiences with The Village (2004), a period piece about an isolated community terrorized by unseen monsters.
In this supernatural thriller, a man already shattered by a personal loss finds his world increasingly haunted by four young women, all of whom are after the same thing: his mortal identity.