Signs ★★★★★

See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?”

First time watch: August 2002
Source: Blu Ray

Signs had a big impact on me when I first saw it and significantly contributed to my love of film. Back in 2002 I had just finished school and went to Canada by myself for two months. I had a mixed time there but I will always recall a trip to the cinema in which Signs had just been released. I wasnt overly into films, I would watch the odd one here and there but when the credits began I sat in silence knowing I had just experienced something special.

Science v Religion - Graham Hess, brilliantly played by Mel Gibson, goes through a spiritual journey having turned his back on God as an outcome from a personal tragedy. Science and Religion are often two contrasting philosophies and what is so interesting is how writer/director M. Night Shyamalan handles both of these aspects. Even considering the very presence of Aliens conjures questions such as are these Gods creations or a product of evolution? As the film reaches its conclusion it appears to leans towards a presumption there is a God whilst the film also presents religious imagery/parallels throughout.

It's the same show on every station

M. Night Shyamalan has excellently crafted a suspenseful and tense thriller with genuinely scary moments that gets to me no matter how many times I watch this. The reveals build slowly; crop damage, seeing a body part in the dark, noises on the baby monitor, always being careful to not ruin the fear factor. The isolated location perfectly aids the feeling of helplessness and also supports the character Grahams hatred towards God who appears to have abandoned him. We stay with this family and only ever learn what they do via television or radio as if we are experiencing this with them (I love the creepy reveal of the alien through a news report, it gets me everytime). James Newton Howard's eerie score perfectly harnesses the tone creating a memorable theme.

Whilst the CGI alien towards the end is dated and the neat conclusion that ties in the religious theme may cause an eye roll or two I will always advocate that this remains one of the greatest Sci-Fi films to date.

M Night Shyamalan Filmography
Science Fiction Films

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