Signs

Signs ★★★★★

Signs is obviously a very religious film with its thesis being that everything happens for a reason. As a staunch atheist who is vehemently anti-religion, this should be a film I despise but alas, I do not. I’m able to suspend my disbelief enough for me to enjoy it.

My parents let me see Signs way back when it came out, and it legitimately scarred me for years. I was too afraid to look out the window at night because of what I might see. Hell, I still feel that from time to time. But I’ve always loved it and maintained it to be a masterpiece, and a perfect horror film.

This film showcases Shyamalan’s ability to effectively frighten the audience. He knows exactly how much of the aliens to show and when to show them. Even when you see an alien in full, it’s either from a distance via home video camera or mostly obscured by shadow, creating that terrifying mystery element to the creature.

And the reveal of information makes the horror even more effective - everything is from the point of view of this family living on a farm in rural Pennsylvania, away from civilization. All the audience knows about what is happening is what the family knows. It’s an informational journey you take with the characters. That not knowing exactly what the world is dealing with taps deep into the fear of the unknown.