Matthew’s Monday Movie: “Signs”

M. Night Shyamalan has brought us some thrilling movies over the years, and his 2002 hit Signs is definitely one of them. It was written, directed, and produced by Shyamalan, and with that much creative control he really was able to implement his artistic vision and take credit for the finished project.

The setting is a rural farm home owned by Graham Hess (Mel Gibson). Hess is a recent widower and has apparently lost his faith. He lives with his young son and daughter. His son Morgan (Rory Culkin) uses his inquisitive mind and quirky nature to mask his pain over his mother’s recent death. The younger daughter Bo (Abigail Breslin) is socially withdrawn and has developed an odd compulsive behavior since her mother’s passing. Recently, Graham’s younger brother Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix) is also in a current low point in his life and has moved in to help the family.

One morning, the family is awakened to find large acres of the corn crops have been meticulously bent and arranged into strange shapes- from the air, they look like crop circles. Graham, a prudent and pragmatic man, believes these to be the actions of vandals and pranksters seeking media attention. Soon these strange formations begin to happen across the globe. As the days go on, more and more strange sightings and panic begin to spread throughout the nation and in the Hess home itself. With all things considered, Graham slowly starts to believe the threat is real and seeks to protect his family. Only by a renewed since of faith can he pull his family together through their shared love for one another. Will they survive this frightening ordeal simply by chance, fate, or perhaps even a miracle?

Signs is a fantastic slow burn thriller that uses escalating tension to rise to a fever pitch towards the end. Shyamalan has been compared previously to a modern day Alfred Hitchcock. The dialogue of his characters are often dry and mundane and help the audience relate to the tedious periods in our day to day lives. He also taps into the fear and dread of the unknown, and how people must overcome their own shortcomings and flaws.

Signs made a respectable $400 million of a budget of around $70 million, and while some critics had negative opinions on sections of the script, most found it fresh and original.  Most audiences give it about 75% favorable to 25% unfavorable rating. Most will enjoy this suspense/thriller, but I can agree it’s not for everyone.

Signs is available at the Union University Library.

*It is rated PG-13 for some language and mild violence.

 

 

 

 

Featured Books About Personality Types

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Chances are you know someone who can rattle off their Enneagram number, their Myers-Briggs letters, their Hogwarts house, and maybe even their astrological sign. Many people have a fascination with personality types, quizzes, and theories since they can often learn more about themselves and other people by identifying different personalities. We’ve compiled a few lists of the best personality-based books that the library has to offer. If you’re interested in learning more about the way you think, feel, and act, check out one of these books!

List of Enneagram-Based Books:

  1. Mirror for the Soul: A Christian Guide to the Enneagram by Alice Fryling
  2. The Enneagram Advantage: Putting the 9 Personality Types to Work in the Office by Helen Palmer
  3. The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr
  4. The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships by Suzanne Stabile
  5. The Road Back To You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile

 

List of Myers-Briggs Based Books:

  1. Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type by Isabel Briggs and Peter Myers
  2. Type Talk at Work by Otto Kroeger
  3. Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul Tiegger and Barbara Barron-Tiegger

 

Other Books About Personality:

  1. The Normal Personality: A New Way of Thinking About People by Steven Reiss
  2. Personality: What Makes You The Way You Are by Daniel Nettle
  3. 10 Best College Majors For Your Personality by Laurence Shatkin
  4. Personal Intelligence: The Power of Personality and How It Shapes Our Lives by John D. Mayer
  5. Personality Theories: A Global View by Eric Shiraey