My Favorite Movies – Signs (2002)

16 Apr

By Tanner Smith

I HAVE to go into spoilers here if I’m going to defend this one. Here’s a sleeper hit that everyone was talking about positively before they asked themselves, “Why would aliens come to a planet mostly covered with water if that’s what hurts them?”

I don’t think they ever bothered to actually answer that question. They’re ALIENS! What the hell do they know about water??

Oh, and why couldn’t the alien get out of the kitchen pantry through the wooden door? Well…at the end of “Signs,” there’s the alien from the pantry…obviously it got out of the pantry!! It’s going to take some time for something to bust through wooden planks like that when these aliens don’t have laser guns.

I wrote an entire post about why a lot of people’s criticisms towards “Signs” don’t make sense to me. (Check it out here.) My point is there is nothing anybody can say against this movie that is going to make me love it any less. It’s still wonderfully made, effectively acted, beautifully directed, and hella suspenseful–this film makes great use of silence to add tension.

My favorite scene: the scariest scene in the movie is the first reveal of the alien, seen through shaky home-video footage. The alien appearing into frame is scary, but what really sells it is Joaquin Phoenix’s horrified reaction towards watching it–he’s so shocked that he gets out of his chair and takes a few steps back because he just can’t believe it! Stuff just got real!!

Richard Roeper added “Signs” to his best-of-2002 list and put it best with this wonderful quote: “Any director can blow up the world. But what M. Night Shyamalan does is riskier: he tries to blow our minds.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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