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Signs

A movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

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Good reason to have both dogs and faith

  • Nov 13, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
There are certain movies that are creepy beyond belief, but Signs still falls into my "bedtime movie" category from the overall feeling of comfort it somehow gives me, in spite of the shivers it produces. To me, I found it an excellent presentation of Ying and Yang, the balance of life, that for everything there is a purpose; even the most horrid of life's tragedies could be a sign of better things to come.

This is a beautiful story of family love and everyday life interrupted first by a tragedy, and then by an extremely creepy alien invasion. The low-keyed small town lives of the people the movie centers around, make the actual eeriness of the movie even more palpable. No overt terror and no gore at all, `Signs' is still a scary movie in that it invades your own imagination with subtle shadows and innuendos that do not strike out at you with clammy arms, but sneak up with deadly stealth.

The premise is that a crop farmer and former Priest finds `crop circles' out in his corn field. Then the news channels begin reporting on these incidents occurring on a global level, and sightings of alien spacecraft hovering over Mexico City, along with footage of a bizarre intruder at a birthday party in Brazil. The veiled suspense builds as people realize that the threat is real, while they try to figure out why these aliens are here on Earth. The most overt horror comes from Rev. Hess's flashbacks to Officer Paski's explanation of his wife's condition at the scene of a previous accident. Sent shudders down my spine, it did.

My hat comes off in a bowing sweep to some absolutely stellar performances from some remarkable actors in this film. Aside from Mel Gibson as Rev. Graham Hess, there is young Rory Culkin playing Morgan Hess, whose acting abilities are equal to or above those of his old brother McCauley Culkin. The little girl Abigail Breslin playing Bo Hess is adorable and perfect in every way, and take particular note of the performance of Joaquin Phoenix as Merrill Hess (believe it or not, he played the kid Gary in Steve Martin's Parenthood!). He has turned into a notable actor and quite a hottie as well. Merrill's bravery in part of the ending is so overwhemling that it makes the character (and actor) extremely attractive. Officer Paski is played by the extremely talented Cherry Jones (Erin Brockovich) and the part of Veterinarian Ray Reddy was played by none other than M. Night Shyamalan, the director of `Signs'. Even the bit parts of Lionel Prichard (Michael Showalter) and Tracy Abernathy (Merritt Wever) are noteworthy performances.

Overall, this is a superbly acted movie, with a stealthy creepiness that will grow on you rather than slap your face, and a story of humanity at its very finest. Watch out for those fingers coming up under the door, one of the most subtly terrifying moments ever created. Enjoy!
Signs

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January 26, 2009
Over-rated but still better than THE VILLAGE.
 
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More Signs reviews
review by . February 01, 2010
The Signs are there now are you whilling to listen to them?....
For over 1,000 years stories of beings from another world have been told to countless generations through writing and art. But the real question is it true? Or is it all an elaborate hoax, a fairytale to put us to sleep at night or give us something to watch? Whether they are real or not has always been in question and truthfully we may never know the answer to our constant questions. But after almost 60 years of films that exploit and tell of alien invasion or aliens visiting our world and trying …
Quick Tip by . October 01, 2010
Very nicely put together. Neat foreshadowing, fun insanity easing the tension, some pretty good scares, and a thought-provoking conclusion.
Quick Tip by . July 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Effective at surprising the audience and setting up it's premise. It's too bad that the payoff involves some real lapses in logic. Do not watch in the dark OR with a good sound system. Do one or the other.
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
this is a really good movie with some jumpy scary parts
Quick Tip by . August 08, 2010
Brilliant, funny, poignant, scary and thought-provoking. Take a quick look---and watch it all the way through...by yourself, in the dark!
review by . December 17, 2008
M.Night Shyamalan seems to be making quite a name for himself in the Hollywood sphere and is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest directors in history.  "Signs" is a story about a fractured family's reponse to a bunch of mysterious crop circles that begin to enclose their small farm-house in a remote village on the outskirts of Philadelphia. The film progresses as crop circles begin to appear all across the world, spreading mass panic amongst the populations and indicating an extra-terrestrial …
review by . January 12, 2005
M. Night Shyamalan (originally: Manoj Nelliyattu Shyamalan) can now be held responsible for creating one of the best movies I have ever seen.     I loved every instant, of every second, of every minute of both hours of Sign's. Once I saw Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall's "John Handcock" in the opening credits I knew it was going to be special. (They also executive produced "The Sixth Sense" for Shyamalan) Not only was Sign's backed by these Spielbergian's, it was brought …
review by . April 25, 2004
M. Night Shyamalan has been hailed as the next Spielberg with such writing/directing/producing credits as The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs & his new venture, The Village, and rightly so, in my humble opinion. This film is generally unlike The Sixth Sense & Unbreakable. That is precisely why Signs received mixed reviews from critics at the box office. Mel Gibson stars as the newly widowed ex-reverend/father Graham Ness. Along with his younger, ex-baseball hero brother, Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix) …
review by . March 05, 2004
I have to agree with a fellow reviewer that the so-called professional reviewer is wrong in calling this a "B" movie. "Signs" plays more with your mind and, to an extent, your faith better than most of the schlock that is put out these days. This film is very intelligent and very, very creepy. It probes your mind both spiritually(with Gibson's character) and mentally(with the use of the alien invasion). One of the creepiest moments in this film is when the television report reveals a "surprise" …
review by . January 09, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
M. Night Shyamalan has great ideas and an interesting mind for stories that push the edge as he so well demonstrated in 'The Sixth Sense'. Unfortunately in this very very slow movie his story gets overshadowed with the very usual and trite "creatures from outer space" look. One keeps wondering why these fears of extraterrestrial invasion are treated like all the other Hollywood horror movies with very similar storylines - that though these visitors are of superior intelligence they seem totally …
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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Wiki

It's contaminated. That's what pint-sized Bo (Abigail Breslin) says about every glass of water that she tries to drink, then rejects. This is just one in a long list of strange occurrences that are changing the lives of the Hess family. Things go awry when Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) and his brother, Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix), awake early one morning to find the dogs barking and the children--Bo, and her brother Morgan (Rory Culkin)--wandering bleary eyed in the corn fields. They discover a pattern of perfectly carved crop circles left the night before. Trying not to overreact, Graham ignores the media frenzy that has permeated all television and radio stations, and even shrugs off the oddly familiar information that Morgan reads in his book about extraterrestrials invading earth. The real challenge for Graham is to find the faith he needs to pull himself, and his family, through this unexplainable series of events. SIGNS is the long-anticipated film from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (THE SIXTH SENSE,...
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Details

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: 2002, August 2, 2002
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 1hr 46min
Studio: Touchstone Pictures, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
First to Review
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