Six months after his wife's death, former reverend Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) and his younger brother Merrill (Joaquin Phoenix) find a large series of crop circles in their cornfield. Soon afterward, a series of strange occurances both on the farm and out in the world force Graham, his two children Morgan and Bo, and Merrill to consider what they had previously thought was impossible: alien contact.
This the second horror film I've watched (after The Others, which I reviewed here) that relies on subtlety rather than gruesomeness for scare factor; when confronted with the unknown, your imagination rather than logic fills the gaps in your knowledge, and films that make you think are often more satisfying than movies that just outright scare you. Another plus, I think, were scenes were I thought something was going to happen, but then my expectations were proven incorrect. The flashlight-dropping scenes seem cliche to me, but one scene that sticks in my mind has the lights go out for a minute, only to reveal an unexpected result.
I wasn't expecting any dimension of humor to the movie, but the humor included was laughable while avoiding ridiculousness.
While on the whole I enjoyed the movie and its main idea -- coincidences are often more than they seem -- there are cons. At times, the dialogue is rather unnatural, and I couldn't help but think the acting was a bit flat at points.
Postscript: James Newton Howard is an awesome composer.
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On an unrelated note: snow. There isn't much, just a little dusting where the tree cover is thinner, but it's still snow.
Whatever happened to Global Warming? I guess the Second Ice Age theory is more viable at this point.