What's happening to M. Night Shyamalan?
I remember a young, hotshot director who provided the most memorable twist ending of the 90s in "The Sixth Sense" (technically his third film, but his first big thriller). His next projects were worthy follow-ups "Unbreakable" and "Signs," the latter of which is particularly underrated as a family-friendly hair-raiser.
Then things went awry. Horribly, jaw-droppingly awry.
Whereas Shyamalan used to genuinely terrify with his ending
revelations and atmospheric tricks, he seems more concerned with the
shock value of his story than with harder-to-earn chills. Watch closely
the scene in which a woman shares her digital camera footage of a
zookeeper's last moments in a lion cage. Compare it to that well-known
instance in "Signs" where we catch a glimpse of an alien through
someone's home movie. You'll see the difference.
Wahlberg's performance is not a good one. He comes off as raspy, whiny, and generally miscast as the young teacher protagonist. Shyamalan doesn't help by lingering on his actor's befuddled face in close-up far too many times. He looks like a lost kitten trying to get back home (for Wahlberg, grittier, more intense roles).