Graham Hess was a preacher who has lost his faith in god after the death of his wife in a brutal car crash. This leaves him to raise his two children Morgan and Bo, with the help of his brother Merrill. Crop circles begin to appear in their corn field and this is happening all over the world . . .
It has been many years since the last time I saw this film and I could only vaguely remember parts and sort of the ending. So I thought I would give it another go as I didn’t have the fondest of memories about the film. I am happy to therefore admit that I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I ever remember before. I thought the suspense was decent and the characters had room for development.
You cannot help but feel for Graham as he is having to raise his children whilst also grieving for his wife. This results in him being a little bit short with them times, Merrill helps out the best he can though. When the strange things start happening and the rumours of aliens start to spread the family become closer together and protect each other whilst also being scared of what will happen.
The suspense of finding out what exactly has come to earth was very good, the build up with the children researching in a book and Graham not wanting to believe what they are telling him because it could actually be true. To the scene with Merrill glued to the TV and then the shock and horror on his face when we get to see the alien for the first time. Obviously must mention when he joins the children with the foil hats on!
This film reminded me again how much I love Joaquin Phoenix it seems to be something that I often forget. I am not entirely sure why but at least I have reminded myself of that in the past few weeks re-watching some of his older films. I thought he was very underrated in this one working very well with Mel Gibson. He is also good in this role and his change and relationship with the children was very good to see, considering he was struggling so much with everything that had happened.
I am not saying this is the most outstanding alien sci-fi type film but I am pleased I decided to give it another chance so many years later. I do believe I actually saw it at the cinema on release, you know back in those teenage days when you went with a group of friends and didn’t pay a massive amount of attention to what was actually on the screen! Maybe I should look at watching more films from this age range again!
Not forgetting how utterly fantastic Abigail Breslin was in this her first major role, you actually forget how young she was when she started out and this really does set the tone for what is to come from the talented actress. (She was 5/6 years old in this one!)