Film: Signs

Opened: August 2, 2002

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

Starring: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin, Cherry Jones, M. Night Shyamalan, Patricia Kalember, Ted Sutton, Merritt Wever, Lanny Flaherty, Marion McCorry, Michael Showalter & Clifford Davis

Though the CGI doesn’t hold up well, the intensity and slow burn of Signs creates anxiety that is still just as strong today as it was 20 years ago.

While playing out in their family’s cornfields, Morgan and Bo Hess (Rory Culkin & Abigail Breslin) discover a series of crop circles. While their father, former Priest Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) initially denies anything other than neighbor shenanigans, he soon discovers that it comes from extraterrestrial life forms invading Earth.

The best thing M. Night Shyamalan does with creating his villains is that the audience hardly sees them. Instead, we’re trapped with this family who’s trying to survive the attack, and that makes the tension level rise.

While veteran actors Gibson and Phoenix are great, the young Culkin and Breslin allow for a stronger emotional connection.

Final say: Follow the signs. ★★★★☆

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