Signs (film)

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Signs is a 2002 film about a widowed former reverend living with his children and brother on a Pennsylvania farm who finds mysterious crop circles in their fields, which suggests something more frightening to come.

Written and directed by: M. Night Shyamalan.
It's Not Like They Didn't Warn Us (taglines)


  • You're wasting your time here! I'm not going to report this or anything you do to my crops. To the news or TV, or anybody. You're not going to get famous!
  • Everybody in this house needs to calm down, eat some fruit or something.
  • I know you're making a point here. I just don't know what it is.


  • [The family is watching a news report about strange hovering lights in the sky] The nerds were right. It's like War of the Worlds.
  • [The TV news plays a Brazilian video, purporting to have a sighting, in which a bunch of Brazilian children excitedly block the view] Move, children! Vamanos! (the humanoid alien, resembling a decomposed, skeletal corpse, passes through a gap in some bushes a few feet away from the camera) OH!!!
  • [Deleted scene: Merrill stands on a chair, struggling to hold the attic door shut from underneath as an alien tries to enter] This is a very temporary solution!


[Graham and Merrill hear screams and run into the cornfield, where they find Bo standing alone quietly]
Graham: Bo, where's Morgan? Bo?
Bo: Are you in my dream, too?
Graham: This is not a dream.
[Graham finds Morgan]
Graham: Morgan, are you hurt?
Morgan: I think God did it.
Graham: Did what? (Morgan turns his father's head to see their two dogs running around wildly in the center of an enormous crop circle)

[Graham finds police officer Caroline Paski in his hallway]
Graham: Oh. That was quick, Caroline. I only called you folks two hours ago.
Caroline: Old Mrs. Kendleman. Twisted her ankle, as she puts it. Diving for her life when a bunch of school kids rode down the sidewalk on skateboards. She went down to Thornton's store this morning, and started spittin' on the new skateboards. Spitting! By the time I got there, Mrs. Kendlemen had sprayed the whole place. And she must have had a cold, as I'm telling you, I won't eat for a week. [sighs] So, what happened to your crops?

[Sitting next to their dog Houdini, Bo samples a glass of water]
Bo: It's contaminated.
Morgan: You don't even know what that word means. (Morgan tastes it) It's not contaminated. It's just tap water, pour it in his bowl.
Bo: It tastes funny.
Morgan: It does not. Besides, he licks his butt every day. I don't think he'll mind.

[Caroline and Graham examine the crop circle]
Caroline: Now, what kind of a machine can bend a stalk of corn without breaking it?
Graham: It can't be by hand, it's too perfect.
Caroline: Doesn't sound much like Lionel Prichard and the Wolfington brothers. They can't take a piss without wettin' the front of their pants.

Caroline: Some animals around the county have been acting funny. Some of them violent.
Graham: Is it a virus?
Caroline: I don't think so, Father. They were more edgy, more alert. It's almost as if they smell a predator around. Peeing on themselves and everything.
[Graham stands and slowly walks away, lost in thought]
Graham: Caroline. Please stop calling me Father.
Caroline: What's wrong?
Graham: I don't hear my children.

[At night, Graham wakes to find little Bo staring at him]
Graham: What's the matter?
Bo: There's a monster outside my room. Can I have a glass of water?
Graham: What's wrong with the water next to your bed?
Bo: It tastes old.

[Graham is putting Bo back to bed]
Graham: What are you thinking about?
Bo: Why do you talk to Mom when you're by yourself?
Graham: Makes me feel better.
Bo: Does she ever answer back?
Graham: [long pause] No.
Bo: She never answers me either.
[Graham spots a tall, humanoid creature on the roof, then wakes his brother, Merrill]
Graham: Lionel Prichard and the Wolfington brothers are back.
Merrill: It's time for an ass-whooping.
Graham: This is not an intelligent way to approach this. Lee is a friend of mine. This is his son.
Merrill: Yeah, we'll be doing Lee a favor. Alright, listen. We both go outside, move around the house in opposite directions. We act crazy, insane with anger, make them crap their pants, force them around until we meet up on the other side.
Graham: Explain act crazy.
Merrill: You know, cursing and stuff.
Graham: You want me to curse?
Merrill: You don't mean it. It's just for show.
Graham: It won't be convincing. It doesn't sound natural when I curse.
Merrill: Just make noises then.
Graham: Explain noises.
Merrill: Are you gonna do this or not?
Graham: No, I'm not!
Merrill: Alright, you want them stealing something from the house next time?
[A light comes on in the yard]
Merrill: On the count of three. One, two... three!
[They run burst through the door. Merrill runs to the right. Graham moves right, then remembers the plan and runs off to the left]
Graham: Ahhh! I'm insane with anger!
Merrill: We're gonna beat your ass, bitch!
[Another light comes on as two trash cans rolls around the corner of the house]
Merrill: We're gonna tear your head off!
Graham: I'm losing my mind! It's time for an ass-whooping!
[Merrill and Graham finally meet back in at the front of the house, vainly searching for the intruder]
Graham: I cursed.
Merrill: I heard.
[They hear noises on the roof]
Merrill: How did he get up there...
[Merrill walks around the yard, looking at the roof from different angles]
Merrill: Are you sure this is Lionel Prichard?

[While Bo watches Dexter's Laboratory on TV, Graham gestures to a bunch of water glasses on the set]
Graham: You're too old to still be doing this. You take a glass of water and you finish it. Now, what's wrong with this one?
Bo: It has dust in it.
Graham: This one?
Bo: A hair.
Graham: This one?
Bo: Morgan took a sip and it has his amoebas in it.

[Officer Paski talks to the Hess family about the intruder from last night]
Caroline: So how are you, Merrill?
Merrill: Fine.
Caroline: How's work at the gas station?
Merrill: [sarcastically] Stimulating.
Caroline: I never got a chance to tell you, but I thought your moving in here with your brother after... was a nice thing to do.
Merrill: Well, I don't think I'm helping much.
[Caroline looks at Morgan, then back at Merrill]
Caroline: You are.

[Merrill stops by an Army recruitment center]
SFC Cunningham: You didn't used to play baseball, did you? I know you, you're Merrill Hess! I was there the day you hit that 500 footer over the left field wall! Set the record! Man, that thing had a motor on it! It's still the record, right?
Merrill: Got the bat at home, on the wall.
SFC Cunningham: You got two minor league home-run records, don't ya?
Merrill: Five.
SFC Cunningham: Why aren't you in the pros making stacks of cash and getting your toes licked by beautiful women?
Lionel Prichard: 'Cause he has another record most people don't know about. He has the minor league strikeout record.
[Merrill turns to see Prichard in the corner of the office]
Merrill: Hello, Lionel.
Lionel Prichard: Merrill's a class-A screw-up. He just swing that bat as hard as he could every time. Didn't matter what the coaches said, didn't matter who was on base. He'd just whip that bat through the air as hard as he could. Looked like a lumberjack chopping down a tree. Merrill here has more strikeouts than any two players.
SFC Cunningham: You really got the strikeout record?
Merrill: Felt wrong not to swing.

[At the pharmacy, Graham reluctantly listens to Tracy Abernathy's conscience-clearing]
Tracy: I cursed 37 times last week. I said the f word a couple of times, but mostly... shits, and... bastards. Is douche bag a curse?
Graham: I suppose that would depend on its usage.
Tracy: How about, "John, you're a douche bag for kissing Barbara"?
Graham: It's a curse.
Tracy: Then it's not 37, it's 71.

[In the car, Morgan is listening to Bo's old baby monitor, hoping to catch alien signals]
Merrill: Morgan, this crop stuff, it's about a bunch of nerds who never had a girlfriend in their lives. They're like thirty and they work up these little codes together, and they analyze Greek mythology, and make up secret societies where other guys who never had girlfriends before can join in. They do stupid crap like this to feel special. It's a scam. Nerds were doing it 25 years ago, new nerds are doing it again.
Graham: It's just static, Morgan.
[Disturbing noises come from the baby monitor]
Morgan: It's a code.
Bo: Why can't they get girlfriends?
Graham: It's broken, Morgan. It's just gonna keep doing this. Maybe some new batteries...
Morgan: You might lose the signal!
Merrill: This is exactly what the nerds want...

Graham: People break down into two groups when they experience something lucky. Group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck. A happy turn of chance. I'm sure the people in group number two are looking at those fourteen lights in a very suspicious way. For them, this situation is a fifty-fifty. Could be bad, could be good. But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they're on their own. And that... fills them with fear. Yeah, there are those people. But there's a whole lot of people in the group number one. When they see those fourteen lights, they're looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that, whatever's going to happen, there'll be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope. See, what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way. Is it possible that there are no coincidences?
Merrill: I was at this party once... and I'm on the couch with Randa McKinney. She was just sitting there, looking beautiful, staring at me. I go to lean in and kiss her, and I realize I have gum in my mouth. So I turn, take out the gum, stuff it in a paper cup next to the sofa, and turn around. Randa McKinney throws up all over herself. I knew the second it happened, it was a miracle. I could have been kissing her when she threw up. That would have scarred me for life. I may never have recovered. I'm a miracle man. Those lights are a miracle.
Graham: There you go.
Merrill: So which type are you?
Graham: Do you feel comforted?
Merrill: Yeah, I do.
Graham: Then what does it matter?
[Long pause]
Graham: I never told you the last words that Colleen said before they let her die. She said "see". Then her eyes glazed a bit, and then she said "swing away". You know why she said that? Because the nerve endings in her brain were firing as she died, and some random memory of us at one of your baseball games just popped into her head. [pause] There is no one watching out for us, Merrill. We are all on our own.

[Graham finds the kids reading the extraterrestrial book, wearing makeshift aluminum-foil helmets]
Morgan: So the aliens can't read our minds.
Graham: Oh! Of course.

Graham: Who wrote this book?
Morgan: A scientist who had been persecuted for their beliefs.
Graham: That means they're unemployed.
Morgan: If you're gonna make fun of it, then forget it.
Bo: This is serious.
Graham: I don't know what got into me.
Morgan: There are pictures. Dr. Bimbu, the author of the book--
Graham: Bimbu?
Morgan: Dad!
Graham: I just asked his name.
Morgan: You had a tone.

[Morgan looks through his telescope at the cloudy sky. Bo stands beside him]
Bo: You don't think something bad will happen. Do you, Morgan?
Morgan: Why? You have one of your feelings again?
[She nods.]
Morgan: Is it bad?
[She nods again.]
Morgan: I won't let anything bad happen to you.
[Bo hugs her brother's arm.]
Bo: I don't want you to die.
Morgan: Who said I was gonna die?

[Morgan gives a detailed description of the book's predictions of the aliens' plans]
Graham: How can anyone possibly know that information? It's ridiculous. [pauses] What else did it say?
Morgan: They said there are one of two outcomes of an invasion. One, they fight and are defeated, and have to return again with full forces in hundreds, maybe even thousands of years time.
Graham: What's two?
Morgan: They win.

[Morgan and Bo are watching TV in the closet]
Merrill: Hey, you guys okay?
Morgan: Some guy had a sign saying it was the end of the world.
Merrill: Don't worry.
Morgan: You won't let anything happen to us, right?
Merrill: No way.
Morgan: I wish you were my dad.
Merrill: What did you say? Don't you ever say anything like that again. Ever.

[There is silence at the last supper]
Graham: What's the matter with everyone. Eat.
Morgan: Maybe we should say a prayer.
Graham: No.
Morgan: Why not?
Graham: We're not saying a prayer.
Morgan: Bo has a bad feeling.
Bo: I had a dream.
Graham: We aren't saying a prayer. Eat!
Morgan: I hate you.
Graham: That's fine.
Morgan: You let Mom die.
Merrill: Morgan!
Graham: I am not wasting one more minute of my life on prayer. Not one more minute! Understood?
[Bo starts crying]
Graham: Now, we are going to enjoy this meal. No one can stop us from enjoying this meal, so ENJOY IT! Stop crying!
Merrill: Graham.
Morgan: Don't yell at her!
Graham: All right. Since you're all not going to eat, I'm going to try some of everything.

[The family retreat to the basement]
Morgan: We forgot our foil helmets.
Graham: Have we got anything to wedge against the doorknob?
Morgan: They'll read our minds.
Graham: You're scaring your sister.
Bo: I'm already scared.

[Deleted scene: Merrill stands on a chair, struggling to hold the attic door shut from underneath as an alien tries to enter]
Merrill: This is a very temporary solution.
[Graham unsuccessfully looks for something to put in Merrill's place]
Graham: How temporary?
Merrill: [straining] Twenty-two seconds!

[With his flashlight, Merrill finds Graham holding Morgan, who's having an asthma attack]
Graham: We don't have his medicine. Don't be afraid, Morgan. We'll slow this down together. Feel my chest. Feel it moving in, and out. Breathe like me. Come on.
Bo: [sadly] I dreamed this.
Graham: Stay with me. I know it hurts. Be strong, baby. It'll pass. It'll pass.
[Bo draws up to Merrill]
Graham: [To God] Don't do this to me again. Not again. I hate you. I hate you! [To Morgan] The fear is feeding it. Don't be afraid of what's happening. Believe it's going to pass. Believe it! Just wait. Don't be afraid. The air is coming. Believe. We don't have to be afraid. It's about to pass. Here it comes. Don't be afraid. Here comes the air. Don't be afraid, Morgan. Feel my chest. Breathe with me. Together. The air is going in our lungs. Together. We're the same. We're the same.
[The crisis finally passes]
Merrill: We should save the flashlights.

[Graham flashes back to the night of Colleen's death]
Caroline: Ray's truck swerved off the road, hit Colleen and then a tree, and she was pinned between the two.
Graham: What does that mean, pinned?
Caroline: The truck... the truck has severed most of her lower half.
Graham: What did you say?
Caroline: She won't be saved. Her body is pinned in such a way... that it's alive when it shouldn't be alive. The truck is holding her together. Now she doesn't feel much, and she's talking almost like normal. And we didn't pull the truck out, because we wanted you to come down here and be with her as long as she's awake. And that won't be very long. Father, do you understand what I've told you?
Graham: Caroline. Is this the last time I'm going to speak with my wife?
Caroline: Yes it is.

Merrill: You didn't think we'd make it through the night, did you? Listen. There's things I can take, and a couple things I can't. One of them I can't take is when my older brother, who's everything that I want to be, starts losing faith in things. I saw your eyes last night. I don't wanna ever see your eyes like that again, okay? I'm serious.
Graham: Okay.

[In a flashback, Graham recalls Colleen's curious last words]
Colleen: Tell Morgan... to play games. It's okay to be silly.
Graham: I will.
Colleen: Tell Bo... to listen to her brother, who'll always take care of her.
Graham: I will.
Colleen: And tell Graham...
Graham: I'm here.
Colleen: Tell him to see. Tell him to see. And tell Merrill to swing away.

[As the creature threatens to poison Morgan, Graham spies the baseball bat on the wall near Merrill]
Graham: Swing away, Merrill.
[Merrill continues staring at the creature and Morgan]
Graham: Merrill. Swing away.

[Merrill goes outside to find Graham holding Morgan, who doesn't appear to be breathing]
Graham: That's why he had asthma. It can't be luck. His lungs were closed. His lungs were closed. No poison got in. No poison got in. His lungs were closed. His lungs were closed.
[Merrill checks for a pulse]
Graham: Don't touch him! Give him a minute.
[Merrill starts sobbing]
Merrill: Graham.
Graham: Give him a second!
Bo: Daddy?
Graham: Don't touch him!
Merrill: Graham!
Graham: Don't.
Morgan: Dad, what happened?
[They all turn to Morgan, Graham gasps in relief]
Morgan: Did someone save me?
Graham: Yeah. Yeah, baby, I think someone did.


  • It's Not Like They Didn't Warn Us.
  • The Signs Of Life.
  • A message. A warning. A sign... of things to come.
  • The first sign you can't explain. The second sign you can't ignore. The third sign you won't believe.
  • It's happening.


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