Preacher Graham Hess, played by Mel Gibson, has lost his faith in God after his wife dies in a brutal car accident. He along with his son and daughter and his brother Merrill moves into a farmhouse. Crop circles begin to appear in their corn fields which Graham dismisses as mischief by miscreants. After hearing strange noises and watching news coverage on crop circles appearing all over the world, the family begins to suspect of extraterrestrial activities. Now they must stick together and believe, as a family to survive the ordeal and find a way to escape from the clutches of the alien invaders. Written by
The prints hanging over the fireplace and Graham's bed in the Hess's home are "Stone City" and "Spring Plowing," respectively, by American artist Grant Wood (1891-1942), who is perhaps best-known for his painting "American Gothic." He co-founded an art colony in Stone City, Iowa in the early 1930s. See more »
Graham asks Bo to turn up the volume on the TV, she reaches forward and the volume increases before she makes contact with the button. Also, she then holds her finger on the button but the volume does not continue to increase, instead, it remains constant. See more »
Riveting and clever scarefest reinvents the modern horror film
I have been a horror film fan for 30 years. While I remember a few films actually scaring me as a kid (Jaws, Psycho), I have failed to encounter many in my adult life. I like to be scared, but Hollywood has seen fit to retread every tired formulaic convention in just about everything it throws at the local multiplex. Even the independent filmmakers, free of the "system", seem to forget what FEAR is. Mostly I sit solemnly staring in disbelief at the screen, waiting and hoping to get those goosebumps. Then, finally, we were given Signs. Most will say, including the director, that this is not a horror film; I genuinely disagree. If this is not a horror flick, then it is time for this film to start a branch of its own and begin a new genre. I admired every little aspect of this picture, from the use of everyday objects: baby monitor, a blank television screen and a half empty glass of water, to convey and act as a vehicle to extract fear from the ordinary. Most of all, Shyamalan is an expert craftsman and knows how to get the most out of space, actors and sound. It is the lingering shot on a basement staircase when you are desperately hoping he moves his camera to show us more, or the screeching sound in the next room whose source he won't reveal . This director knows just how long to hold the shot, to increase the tension and build the suspense, long enough for our mind to begin forming pictures. And those pictures can be the most frightening of all. Stay the course Shyamalan.
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