There. I’m a little better now.
Pepper Mill and I, having left MilliCal with my parents last night, took a rare night at the movies and went to see Signs
Damnit, I liked The Sixth Sense. I thought maybe Unbreakable was an aberration, that M. Night Shyamalan would be back in mode. But Signs was awful. And all the critics are in on the act.
To be brief – the performances are good. Shyamalan is a director’s directors, and, for the record, I like his directorial tricks. But the movie was unashamedly, unabashedly dumb.
This isn’t science fiction, or fantasy, or horror. It’s the tale of a minister’s redemption. He is redeemed through the actions of a benevolent deity – M. Night Shyamalan.
I should know that when they get brief with their titles they’re trying to simply overload them with symbolism and significance. Rod Serling did this with “Steel”.
The bad science fiction cliches in this film just rack up:
1.) The Aliens who can cross space with science far superior to ours, but when you finally meet them, they’re inarticulate, naked, claw-handed monsters incapable of intelligent thought.
2.) The Good Guys who plan ahead far enough to board up their house against invasion, but not to stock it up with extra batteries, candles, etc.
3.) The Monsters that are Killed with Ordinary Water!!! – a la he first movie version of Day of the Triffids, and a lot of bad SF books that I can’t name right now.
4.) The tear-jerking story of The Railroadman Caught Between the Cars, brought back to maudlin life.
5.) The apparently random clues scattered around the film that lead up tyo the denouement. Only they aren’t parts of a coherent, single vision, they’re the parts of a Rube Goldberg confection that sort of lurches around in unwieldy motion. It’s Mouse Trap as a movie plot.