Turn Back the Clock
The Seventh Sign
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Sometimes, we watch a movie or television show and one actor in particular stands out for you. Pretty soon, you find yourself looking for that actor’s name to be mentioned in other movie or television productions. You find yourself watching movies that you might not ordinarily be drawn to simply because that actor is in the film. Such was the case with Michael Biehn. I had seen him in The Terminator and Aliens and I was smitten. Thus, when I discovered that he was in The Seventh Sign a couple of years after Aliens was in the theater, I just knew I had to see the film.
The film begins with scenes of a man (Jürgen Prochnow), wandering from place to place. You immediately get the idea that there is something different about this man…the fact that natural disasters like whole seas of fish dying or entire areas of jungle spontaneously catching fire sort of give this away. Following him from place to place is Father Lucci (Peter Friedman) who recognizes these events as possible signs of the Apocalypse.
We then move to America, where we are introduced to Abby Quinn (Demi Moore). Abby and her husband, Russell, are about to have their first child. In an effort to raise some extra cash, they are renting the room above their garage. Guess who comes for the apartment - that’s right, that mysterious man we saw in the beginning of the movie.
As the movie plays on, we discover that there are some interesting things about the Quinns that seem to intrigue our mystery man. For one thing, Russell is a lawyer for a client on death row. His client, a young boy afflicted with Down Syndrome, killed his parents because they were brother and sister. He insists that he was setting things right according to the word of God. We also learn that this is not Abby’s first pregnancy and that her previous attempts failed, causing Abby to lapse into a deep depression which in turn spawned a suicide attempt. So, the lawyer of the “Word of God Killer” is married to a woman of such little faith that she is willing to take her own life. An interesting combination for our mystery man.
Meanwhile, Father Lucci is busy trying to convince the Vatican that the anomalies he has witnessed throughout the world are not signs of the Apocalypse. In fact, he insists that these are just coincidences and not miracles foretelling the end of the world. Now, we just saw him freaking out over the signs of the Apocalypse, so why is he lying to the Vatican? And why is mystery man so intrigued by Abby? And what are those parchment papers he’s carrying around which seem to cause destruction every time their seals are broken? Will we ever know what those crazy dreams Abby has been having mean? You’ll just have to watch the movie yourself to find out.
Okay, I can hear you complaining about another end of the world film and how there are way too many of those out there. To that I say that I have watched a great many of these wrath of God films and I have to say that The Seventh Sign is the only one that made me stop and think about things. After watching the film, I was very interested in reading up on the various signs of the Apocalypse as foretold in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. I so enjoyed this film that I bought a copy of it and watched it numerous times. I then went out and bought the DVD version to replace the VHS version.
I love this The Seventh Sign. I love the storyline - the way the story unfolds and you start to realize how everything ties together is terrific. I enjoy the acting. I‘m not a big fan of Demi Moore, but I have to say that she did an excellent job in this role. Michael Biehn isn’t in a great many scenes in the film, but he is adorable and worth watching. Jürgen Prochnow is a man of few words with an amazing presence. I don’t believe another man would have played his role as well. Peter Friedman is perfect in his portrayal of Father Lucci (to say more would reveal the plot, but suffice it to say that revelations about him are downright shocking). The special effects might not be on par with what can be done in films today, but I think the lack of huge effects made the movie more believable.
Fans of DVD extras will find the lack of such amenities on The Seventh Sign DVD to be disappointing. The only extra on this DVD is the ability to watch the film in full or widescreen format. However, I didn’t buy the DVD for its extras. I bought it because The Seventh Sign was a damn good movie that I want to watch over and over again.