Monday, April 6, 2009


Mr. Bennet has said that signs is a non-existentialist film. However, that statement, like the whole issue of religion, is subjective.

In the film, Graham suffers the loss of his wife becuase a very overworked doctor falls asleep behind the wheel. After her death, Graham loses his faith becuase of the absurdity of the event. When the aliens come, it is not a prayer to Jesus that keeps the aliens from killing the Hess family, but boards and nails. The news report after the attack ends states something about middle eastern cities. Incidentally, this was where gun powder was invented, again, save yourself. The alien that almost kills Morgan is only defeated when Merril "swings away" with his record setting baseball bat. The aliens do not attack with magical super inventions, but with some sort of simple poison, they can not regenerate lost limbs, or do anything miraculous. They have a hard time with turning door knobs (for God's sake). The water spilling to kill the alien was not a literal device, so much as it was a caricature. Set up to poke fun at what religion promises for those that stir trouble, as it appears very silly on a literal level.

To say outright that this was an atheist film would be a stupid thing to say. There is way too much just beneath the surface that supports the idea of a greater being governing the universe, but after a close look at the film it would be unfair to say that there is nothing pro-existential about the movie either. MNS probably intended it that way.


  1. You make some valid points, but much of this film is clearly about religion but I cannot say that you are wrong because you backed up many of your claims so you could very well be right, but I on the other hand, saw the religious aspects much more clearly.

  2. Got to say I disagree with you here Dom. This seems to me to be a very anti-existentialist film, much to my dismay. All your points do seem to be backed up (except the gun powder one. religion is a much more obvious allusion), you just have to look at the last scene. Graham goes back to being a minister after his son isn't poisoned because his lungs were closed up from the asthma attack. Obviously a miracle worked by God. The main theme seems to be that God works in mysterious ways and he is looking out for you... unless you're Graham's wife. But, in essence, she saved them by saying "swing away". But, Graham probably would have seen the bat anyway and might have said "Bash him in the f***ing head Merrill." Ughh, the debate rages on...

  3. Best comment I heard all week:

    God is looking out for you, unless you're Graham's wife." -- Florentino

  4. Any idiot can prove the earth is round. It takes brains to prove it's flat. Dominic is just the man for the job becuase if you can find something in this world that everyone agrees on, then Dominic will prove them all wrong.

    I like that kind of attitude. It takes brains and guts. Alas, you will have to work much harder to prove this is an atheistic film. Oh, and one other thing: gunpowder was invented in China.

  5. Congratulations on learning the value of the enter button Dom, I appreciate it.

    I do disagree with you that the film pokes fun at religion, I thought it very clearly had a pro-religion message. I do agree, however,with your last statement. I'm sure M. Night Shyamalan meant for the movie to be somewhat more layered in its portrayal of existentialism/religion. I'm not really sure he succeeded.