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Signs (2002)
Wow. I got so used to hearing nothing but negativity about this movie, that I forgot how much I liked it. Unbreakable was probably my favorite Shyamalan film, but I think the concept itself had a lot to do with it. I probably enjoyed SIGNS the most out of his movies. I'll add to the shout-out for Newton-Howard's score.

Originally Posted by Andre Dellamorte

This movie, and its general acceptance makes me wonder what people's relationship with God is like that they accept this conclusion. God, even more than Superman, is such a dick in this film.

As someone who has no relationship with God, I find his characterization here nothing to get depressed over.

Originally Posted by Jonathan Banks is my hero

Agreed, and part of the reason SIGNS works for me is because it doesn't take itself quite so seriously, so I had a much easier time being entertained by what was meant to be entertaining. I mean, regardless of gaping plot holes, it's a wonderfully executed thriller. The seige in the basement was expertly done.

More proof that Shyamalan needs to stop directing his own fucking scripts. Hook this guy up with a WIlliam Monahan - or Hell, even a Larry Cohen - and he'd be infinitely more bearable.
Hated this movie. It was a dour, boring, and ultimately very stupid movie. Any hints of anything approaching enjoyability was drowned out by a glacial pace and a preening sense of its undercooked themes. This movie was the shits.

Originally Posted by The_Bodhisattva

As someone who has no relationship with God, I find his characterization here nothing to get depressed over.

God totally killed Mel Gibson's wife. To tell him "swing away." Because Gibson had to have his wife died to find out the Aliens can't take water.
He works in mysterious ways, Andre.
Mysterious. Ways.
Like Bono? Well that's all right, that's all right, all right.

I just read an interesting theory that the aliens are actually demons, or are supposed to represent demons, which goes a long way in explaining the silly water thing at the end (demons are from hell, and water kills fire).  We never really see an alien craft, or any demonstration of their technology, it is just assumed that they're aliens.  Merrill sees a bird fall out of the sky on the news, but that could've been a biblical end times metaphor.  The crop circles could've been demonic symbols.  And in certain spiritual circles, aliens are considered demons using technology and disguise to exist in the physical dimension.  I dunno, kind of interesting to see it from that perspective.

AThe water could also signify holy water, in that case. And there WAS a lot of theological discussion going on in the film. Also, Shyamalan seems incapable of dealing with stories that are NOT overt allegories.

It's nice to go through this old thread. The old Chud seems to have been an awesome place to be. Not that I hate the present Chud or anything.

I have a soft spot for this film - I still think the alien reveal scene in Brazil is chilling and effective.

That's a fun theory.  The only thing I could say to counter it is that the gas the alien/demon spews from its wrist comes across as biological as opposed to supernatural (since it doesn't get in Culkin's lungs due to his asthma).


Shymalan is obsessed with water though. It invariably turns up at a pivotal moment, or is given special abilities in pretty much all his films. (including After Earth I'm told)


Mortal Kombat must've been a key film in Shyamalan's cinematic education.

AThis film is one of the earliest and best examples of the inherent horrific potential of found footage. The Alien Birthday Party Video could have been stretched out to a whole film and it probably would have been just as scary as Signs, if not scarier. Even back in 2007 the people of chud picked up on the scariness of that scene. Shyamalan did an excellent job with the staging of that video - the authenticity the VHS footage gives to the sequence, the unsubtitled spanish language dialog, the way the camera is seeing just enough to terrify you even as it actively struggles to glimpse the birthday alien. It's perfect.

I have to give Shyamalan credit for his early adoption of found footage techniques in this film. I consider found footage to be one of the most exciting film formats being deployed today, a new frontier of cinematic language, and it's cool looking back at this movie and seeing how the technique evolved from Blair Witch on. Hell, even in Dark Knight, probably the scariest moment of the movie is found footage - "This is how crazy Batman has made Gotham."

"Struggle to glimpse the birthday alien" is my new favorite euphemism for...something.  I'll decide later.

AThe final segment of "VHS 2" is a found footage Alien Birthday Party Video, and I struggled for most of it to figure out what the stink was happening.

I'm ready for found footage to get lost.

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