Signs review by The Grim Ringler

Signs

M. Night Shyamalan is a genius. I just want to get that out of the way first and foremost. Now we can begin.

Forget what everyone has told you. The less you know about this movie the better. HONEST! This is one of the rare movies that anything you know about it really could damn you from appreciating it for what it is. So, if you want to go into it blind, which I suggest go now! This is one of the best films of the year, hands down.

Now, for you cheaters. Signsis the un-sci-fi movie. It is more an examination of a family faced, literally, with the end of the world, and we watch as they try to survive that fact and themselves. This is the equivalent of the old style radio plays our folks used to listen to when all they had was their imagination to put flesh to the monsters and heroes of their dreams. Things have changed, people throw millions of dollars at the screen in order to re-capture the monsters and superheroes our parents so easily conjured and most often than not they fail. This is one film that does not.

Mel Gibson is Graham Hess, a man that has fallen away from a God he used to serve, a man who has lost his faith, his wife, and is slowly losing his family. He lives on a rural Pennsylvania farm with his brother Merrill and his two children. He is a good man, people still call him reverend, but he is a lost man. He is awakened every night with the thoughts of his wife dying, a ceaseless replay of his two greatest losses the night he lost his wife and his faith. Things will change though. One day he finds his children screaming in the center of his cornfield, screaming because they are all standing in one of a series of patterns that have appeared overnight. Thinking it must be a joke, Graham calls the police and assumes it is some locals that like to play pranks. But this is no joke as similar crop circles begin appearing all across the world during the night, from America to India and everywhere in between. If this is a joke, it is the most elaborate joke of all time. And when there appears a mysterious, dark figure wandering Grahams property at night, he begins to realize this is no joke. Suddenly the airwaves are full of reports of mysterious ships hovering over Mexico City, ships that are not of this world, and the reality of what is happening begins to dawn on Graham and his family, as does the horror of what may be to come. And it is one word that Grahams son, wearing an aluminum foil hat and reading a book on UFOs, that changes all their lives forever invasion.

Think of this as Night of the Living Dead meets War of the Worlds, it is an invasion film seen from the perspective of those being invaded. Seen from their eyes and from their basement as they wait out the siege, hoping their side will come out victorious. Shyamalan, the wonderful director of The Sixth Sense is not interested in battling space ships, in epic ground battles between Man and alien invaders, he is interested in the people all these things effect. This is not a movie about how aliens came down and took over the earth. It is about how one family had to come together to survive, and how one man had to find faith in a god he has turned his back on in order to find the strength to protect his family.

This is not to say this is not a very scary, very action-filled film because it is. Its just that that isnt the thrust of the film, and thats a good thing. All summer long we get movie after movie filled with huge explosions and clear-cut stories and morals. Its nice to have a film that has loftier goals than just seeing if they can make the loudest, prettiest CGI explosion. Its nice to have a summer movie with substance.

This is a wonderful film. Brilliantly film, and full of tremendous acting. How Shyamalan manages to get so many talented child-actors is beyond me but he has done it again, as the boy and girl in this give a sad, haunted quality to the film that breaks your heart as things get darker and darker for this family.

One of the very best films of the year (second only to Road to Perdition) and a film that delivers in every way you could ask. Hopefully you can go into this film free of knowing too much and can truly enjoy a very scary, very fun movie.


9 out of 10 Jackasses

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