If there is one thing that can be said about the directorial career of M. Night Shyamalan, it is that he will surprise you, whether it be a great or awful film. Let’s rattle off this roller coaster of a career Shymalan has had so far: The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, The Happening, Lady in the Water, The Village, The Visit, Glass, Split, THE LAST AIRBENDER, and, what I can say is by far my favorite film of his, Signs.
Signs was made in 2002 and stars two legends in Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix with support from child actors, Abigail Breslin and Rory Culkin(yes, brother of Macaulay Culkin). It is uncanny how similar Rory is to Macaulay in terms of mannerisms. All of their performances are astonishing. The screenplay involves some of the most heartfelt and thought-provoking dialogue that I have heard in a film, and who better to deliver these lines then Gibson and Phoenix.
This is not your average, conventional film involving extraterrestrial life.
While the increasing buildup of these creatures is fun to experience, there is so much to embrace about this film. It does a great job of testing one’s religious faith and whether they believe that everything is coincidental or miracles can happen. As a man of faith myself, I thoroughly enjoyed having these characters go through that ordeal and it even made me think about my faith as well and what I would do in a situation of this caliber.
Foreshadowing is key in this film.
If you do not pay attention to the beginning of the film, you are going to be confused about everything that occurs towards the climax. Every scene is set up to play a major role later on. I will not get into spoilers because I want the people that read this to watch and pay attention to every detail themselves.
Now, about those aliens.
In the first half of this movie, I loved how the aliens were being hidden amongst the shadows. You would see their silhouettes on wide shots of them when our protagonists first see them. My favorite scene of this film was when Graham Hess(Gibson) goes investigating in this field and he shines his flashlight, which reveals a portion of an alien. The alien is off-centered and only in the shot for about half a second before disappearing back into the film. That early suspense is what keeps you invested in this film because you want to find out what these aliens look like.
Unfortunately, in one of the final scenes of this movie. The alien gets a close-up and it is not pretty. The CGI is far from stellar and the alien looks like a human painted in green. There is nothing really “creature-esque” about the alien in that scene, other than that he is green and does not look like a normal human.
I do not want to get too deep into this movie because interpretations will vary amongst most people once you view it and I do not want my opinions to influence your experience with Signs.