Monday, August 17, 2009

Signs: Moral of the Story? Destroy Your Cornfield.

While many people dub Signs as a flop, I find it to be Shyamalan's 2nd best horror film. It is one of the few horror movies I've seen in the movie theater and I was petrified. What was I doing in that dark theater may you ask? Why covering both my ears and my eyes for the whole world to see of course. Yes it was embarrassing...but do I regret it?-absolutely not. There are moments in this movie where I swear I had a heart attack- but with most of Shyamalan's movies, the scariness stops being scary after awhile and all is resolved, so the fear doesn't really stay with you. Although I did lay awake freaking out about what I would do if aliens landed in my backyard.

Signs is about the sudden appearance of crop circles around the world. We focus on one family's crop circle in particular, Mel Gibson's family and we soon find out that the crop circles are like a landing pad for aliens. When aliens start popping up around the world, it is not long before they make their invasion on Mel's family too. The family barricades themselves in their home ala The Birds and Night of the Living Dead style and try to outlast the aliens.

So for the most part people talk about the alien's first appearance in the newscast that Joaquin Phoenix watches in the closet. Like all of Shyamalan's movies the scariness is probably due in large part to the jolt of music that accompanies the alien-but I also think it's the unexpectedness that is most surprising. Watch the clip at the end to see.

What I found to be scary is just the idea of the impending doom of aliens invading your house. Knowing that yes there are aliens and they are not nice and have surrounded your house is pretty darn scary. Then there's of course the scene with the alien in the pantry, and the alien grabbing the little boy in the basement. All really surprising moments. Looking back I'm sure that what scared me most was the anticipation of things to come, and knowing that something was surely going to grab a character so I guess watching the movie again doesn't create the same kind of horror. It is nowhere near affective as the Sixth Sense, and I do think it goes a little off the deep end with the whole theme of faith and blah blah God exists. Is there really a twist in this? Not really-well, other than the aliens being a bunch of morons. It's still pretty suspenseful and has a few really great and scary scenes. But don't go looking for a masterpiece with this one.


Floyd said...

Andre, just found ur site, not sure u still check it out much but wanted to comment on Signs.
First of all it's one of my favorites of all-time and not just horror. While not on the same level as The Sixth Sense it is approaching it for me, great flick
Also, who considers it a flop? It made like $600 million.

Andre Dumas said...

Hi Floyd! Many people consider most of his films after Unbreakable to be "flops" not in the movie dictionary definition of course just in the I'm too good for this kind of way. I really enjoyed Signs and it did scare the crap out of me. I think people start getting all huffy about the twist endings yet feel disappointed by the fact that Signs "twist" was stupid. Personally I don't feel like there was a huge twist in the same formulaic ways as his other films and THAT'S why I think I've come to really appreciate this.

Anywho, thanks for stopping by and commenting!