I wish I could say “Here’s one more masterpiece by Manoj Night Shyamalan”; sadly it’s not. It’s not even close to one. Surely it gives you spine chills at times but it does not maintain them throughout. What starts as a sci-fi thriller, actually turns out about the deep-rooted issue of trust and believe on your life incidents rather than about extraterrestrials.

Graham (Mel Gibson), a priest, is deeply shaken to question his profound faith on God when his wife dies in a road accident, causing him to abandon his roll as a reverend. He is left with two kids, a son and a daughter, to be taken care of, with his brother Merril (Joaquin Phoenix) – a baseball player with good as well as bad records, to help him survive the hardship. His 10-11 year old son Morgan (Rory Culkin) suffers from asthma, and his 4-5 year old daughter, Bo (Abigail Breslin) has a thing about water wherein she leaves glasses of water at every corner of the house throughout the movie.

The movie starts with the emergence of crop signs in Graham’s field as well as across the continents, leading the audience in believing it to be the main theme of the movie. The movie then rambles on about the possibilities at hand from pranksters to hostile aliens about to invade the planet who poison the humans through some secretions. In between the eerie atmosphere, the director introduces all the plot members, describing their characteristics and weaknesses. Finally the aliens start to make appearances through UFOs with the crop signs being their landmarks. The family hides in the attic, where hysteria causes the son to have an asthma attack which he leaves him in a critical condition. After a night spent in the attic, the radio announces the alien’s departure from the planet, spreading a sigh of relief. But when the family comes out of the hiding, exhausted yet happy, they see that an alien is still in their house and has captured Morgan.

Now here’s the climax of the movie, “The Signs” as to say; the signs that existed throughout their existence help the family to fight this crisis, establishing the fact that there are no coincidences in life and that everything happens for a reason. This incident establishes Graham’s faith back in God, making him believe that everything happens for a reason, everything is a Sign, and the movie ends with Graham starting back his services to the church.

Surely, the movie has a great story but the execution gets a little tedious. I understand that subject like the one in hand need a slow treatment but the movie gets to the point of boredom and certain scenes absolutely draw yawns from the audience. The good background score establishes the eerie environment but fails to heighten it. The introduction of the characters in the storyline gets too obvious rather than implicit. The acting by all the actors is commendable with the expected cameo by Shyamalan as Ray Reddy, the man who kills Graham’s wife. The movie won a lot of awards and accolades at several ceremonies.

The movie is a yes from my side. But watch it when you are in the mood for some slow and deliberate thriller and enjoy the build up patiently.

For those of you who don’t know – Scary movie 3 is hugely inspired from this movie.

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