Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) discovers an intricate pattern of circles and lines – carved into his crops. As he investigates the unfolding mystery, what he finds pretty much screws up his whole life. Along with his brother Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix) and children Morgan (Rory Culkin), Bo (Abigail Breslin), the story unfolds to reveal a whole lot of troubled people and aliens who run around naked.
In a nutshell, this film is (seemingly) about an alien invasion that ultimately fails because the aliens were stupid enough to try to take over a planet filled with a substance that melts/burns/kills them (water). Not that it would be unheard of because the aliens in The War Of The Worlds were stupid enough to forget about the common cold too and the aliens from Independence Day forgot to secure their Wifi Hotspot allowing The Goldblum to DDoS the fuck out of them…but let’s focus on the ‘Signs Aliens’ in particular right now.
Theory Number 01
They are aliens except they’re not very advanced or smart…
We always assume alien life would be more advanced than we are and essentially superior but what if these aliens are less advanced than we are? What if their technological skill or idea pretty much ends at building some rudimentary transport method to get from space or their planet to here and then…that’s it? We could pick up their communications with a baby monitor. A fucking baby monitor. Their hardly a bastion of tactical or military genius, clearly.
It’s also to be taken into consideration and entirely possible that they ended up on Earth by mistake while on their way somewhere else and had to make a pit stop. It’s even possible that they really are an invasion force and they’re just not very smart or they didn’t anticipate the fight we’d put up with water pistols and various filled balloons as soon as we discovered their weakness to good old H20.
Maybe they somehow missed the fact that all the see-through blue stuff they saw from orbit or their dimension is water or didn’t know it was lethal to them. I mean if the situations were reversed and we landed on some alien planet, would we immediately know all the dangers? We ourselves as a race usually only end up discovering something is bad after it kills a few dozen or a few thousand of us – perhaps the aliens are the same…
If it was an invasion though – it was the equivalent of a drunk naked homeless man trying to attack a SWAT Team with a broken bottle. I mean…stupid aliens…surely you must have them? If this was a global invasion you’d think they’d have bothered sending a scouting team first, sheesh…oh wait – according to the film they’ve been scouting for years and abducting people – see, they knew about the water – stupid aliens…
Theory Number 02
The fact that Graham is a priest in the film is no accident and the perceived aliens are in fact demonic entities and they are returning to Earth for some or other reason. Every person in the film also sees them in their own personal way. For instance – for the Sheriff, it might be some vandals but for Mel Gibson, it’s a 6ft tall naked monster who likes climbing on his roof and making pictures in his cornfield.
As mentioned before the demons are in fact running about naked – demons aren’t all that hot on fashion, see? Another point of note – animals sense them and fear them to the point of insanity as seen when the priests own dog turned on his kids.
Water, as it turns out, is a big problem for demons too – as God‘s creational substance of choice for life and the thing that spawned pretty much every organism on the planet it would, of course, represent God/Life as seen in most churches and religions where the presence of ‘Holy Water‘ is not an uncommon thing for blessings and cleansing.
Water hurts them…they also cannot accomplish simple tasks such as opening wooden doors which are a classic example of theorem held around ancient demonic entities. In fact, if you examine the film closely and really pay attention to more than the tin foil hats – you’ll notice there isn’t any ‘alien’ technology present at all – there isn’t even weaponry…which is a little strange for an invasion force, isn’t it? Chances are the lights in the sky, the crop circles and beasties running about are all connected to demonic goings-on.
The lights in the sky might simply be one way portals that lead them here to our world from wherever they come from but nothing else can pass back through – as mentioned at some point in the film when a bird was unable to get past one of the spots where one of the ‘lights’ are seen at night. There was actually a deleted scene showing a dead bird near the road close to Morgan’s house too which signifies the fact that there was one of these portals right by his house.
If you delve deeper you’ll also dig up the details that Graham’s daughter, Bo is in fact considered to be ‘an angel’ and a ‘miracle’ and it just so happens her chosen element is water…which just so happens to kick the ass of one of the ‘aliens’ near the end of the film. The film is also littered with religious references, crosses, and other religious elements. There’s a clear undertone of religion in the film from start to finish as Graham is clearly bitter over having lost his wife, in essence, he blames God for it…and he’s having a crisis of faith that spans right into the demonic invasion of Earth where he finds his faith again and makes it through to the end.
It’s still not clear why exactly the ‘creatures’ simply vanished at some point though. Perhaps they just decided it wasn’t worth it or maybe it was all in Graham’s twisted imagination, who knows? Maybe Graham got knocked out at some point and dreamt the entire thing, maybe he even went crazy at some point after his wife died and the whole film is a dream he’s playing out over and over inside a white padded cell.
Whatever you choose to believe or take from the film is up to you, it still remains a pretty good movie and one of Mel Gibsons best ever. It’s entertaining, has some action and even manages to be scary with some moments blended in that manage to make us all think a little about religion, life, aliens (or demons) and our world as a whole.
Signs will forever be that movie you just have to return to every now and then just because it’s awesome.