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Signs
(2002)
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin
Genre:
Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

"A family living on a farm finds mysterious crop circles in their fields which suggests something more frightening to come."

Signs, a fun popcorn movie that entertains as it tells it's version of the classic Sci Fi novel & movie War of the Worlds. Luckily for director M. Night Shyamalan, he avoids being labeled a copycat by mentioning by name, War of the Worlds, thus making his film an ode to that 1953 classic.

There's even a nod to the famous original scene where a woman has hid from the aliens in an old farm house and with her back turned to a broken window a long creepy alien hand grabs her shoulder! Only this time around it's a little girl Abigail Breslin who has her back against a boarded up window as an alien hand grabs her.

Though the final end of the aliens is all H.G. Welles.




Surprisingly a lot of low key humor, I'm not sure if it all was intentional but there was a lot of nice 'real' moments in the film when I smiled. There are little nuisances that make the family seem like a real family, that's important. I loved the tin foil hats that looked like large Hersey kisses!

What didn't work, was the uninspired acting. I know both Mel Gibson and
Joaquin Phoenix can act up a storm, but here they seemed bored.

A film isn't tense and the thrills don't work, if the actors don't react as if what is happening on the screen was real!...and often they didn't do that, especially with the alien encounter scenes.

Even worse was the lack of common sense behavior....any family with hostile aliens trying to break into their home would grab a weapon, a knife or a club or something. But that really never happens until the very end and that bugged me, more than bugging me it made me suspend my disbelief so that I didn't really buy what was going on.

Final Verdict
....Signs is a fun ride, lots of good moments, but it's not all that intelligently written and the direction wasn't that great either...Still I enjoyed it more than many 'better made' films, so that's a positive.