We went to see Signs last night (at a late showing, no less…extra creepy). As with the last two movies by M. Night Shyamalan—The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable–there is more to the movie than the standard horror/thriller/sci-fi flick. There is a spiritual undercurrent and a sense that even the scariest things aren’t so bad after all. Mel Gibson plays a minister, Graham Hess, who quit the church after his wife died in a traffic accident. (Shyamalan plays the driver of the truck that hit her.) In fact, the main point of the story is not the alien invasion, but the re-awakening of Gibson’s faith.
The film does keep you on the edge of your seat in between some very funny moments. I especially liked the joke about Mel Gibson (whose characters are usually a donut short of a dozen) not knowing how to act “crazy.” And Joaquin Phoenix was excellent as Mel’s brother, Merrill. But be prepared to be scared–not the bloody Texas Chain Saw Massacre type of scared, but the War of the Worlds kind.
In fact, the only problem I had with the movie at all was the ending. Shyamalan builds the tension and paints the situation into such a corner, I was not sure how he was going to get out of it. So, I’m not sure what, if anything, he could have done differently to finish.