The director of The Sixth Sense, Split and Unbreakable as well as The Happening and The Last AIrbender, M. Night Shyamalan remains a divisive presence. Having helmed some of modern cinema's best-reviewed movies along with some it's worst, it suggests that perhaps he is not a great judge of his own work. But, it may surprise you to learn that Shyamalan has a rather unique, and pretty reasonable way of working out whether audiences like his movie or not. He counts how many people take bathroom breaks during test screenings.

"So, you screen the first cut of the movie, and it's really long. It has like, everything in it. It's not paced correctly. And about 50 people will go to the bathroom during the screening of the movie. They'll just get up and go at some point in the movie. And as you make the movie and you keep on doing it, then 30 people go to the bathroom. And the time next it's 20 people, and then 10 people, then 4 people.

And then the last cut of the movie when it's ready to go out, its 2 people and they're running, and they're backwards watching the screen as they go to the bathroom. And what's really interesting is that you stop thinking about yourself when you're completely connected to the movie. And like 500 people forget they needed to go to the bathroom."

Now, though that may sound like the activity of some creepy voyeur, if you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. If a movie has grabbed you to the extent that you desperately need to know what happens next, more desperately than perhaps your sudden need to use the facilities, then the movie is surely a hit.

As opposed to the audience instead not being at all bothered about what is going on on the big screen in front of them and casually walking in and out in order to relieve themselves. Still, it may make sense on that basis, but this kind of hobby is still quite voyeuristic and creepy so we suggest you do not do it yourselves.

Shyamalan is a director that has become well-known for his twists and ability to conjure a haunting atmosphere, and these trends continue in his new Apple TV+ series Servant. Following a couple six weeks after the death of their infant son that has caused a rift in their marriage, Dorothy and Sean Turner hire a nanny to move in and take care of Baby Jericho, a lifelike baby doll.

The doll, which Dorothy believes is her real child, is the only thing that brought her out of her catatonic state following Jericho's death. While Sean deals with the grief on his own, he becomes deeply suspicious of the nanny.

Servant is currently streaming on Apple TV+, which thankfully means you can pause it and go to the bathroom as often as you like without being judged. This comes to us from Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge