Friday, 17 March 2017

Movie Review: The Seventh Sign

Directed by Carl Schultz, 1988

Pros: mixed Judaic and Christian end of the world traditions, down syndrome actor

Cons: melodramatic

A figure of a man breaks ancient seals, causing the destructions foretold by prophesy that will herald the end of the world. Abby Quinn (Demi Moore)’s pregnancy is nearing its end, but a previous miscarriage causes her to be overcautious. Her husband (Michael Biehn) is a lawyer trying to stop an execution. When they rent out an apartment to a quiet man, Abby starts to believe he’s planning to hurt her unborn child.

First off, it disturbed me, as a former renter, seeing Abby enter the apartment several times without permission or notice. The second time she even rummages around the guy’s belongings, which is illegal. She ends up being a stalker too, calling after him in the rain to see if he wants a ride and then following him down streets and into a building. And while it turns out she’s right to be wary of this man, it was uncomfortable watching at times.

I really liked how the film brought together Christian imagery of the Apocalypse by way of Revelations as well as the Jewish tradition of the Guf, something I’d never heard of but which wikipedia tells me is a real belief. I thought the depiction of the Jewish faith was handled well, especially the scene where the translator needs to find a Bible, as Revelations is not his Testament.

I appreciated that Jimmy’s character was played by a man with down syndrome, though I’m less keen on the crime he’s accused of. I’m not sure how I feel about the resolution of his story line and what it would mean for believers if his view of things and actions because of that view, were the correct actions in God’s mind. I’m also not sure how I feel about the inference that he has down syndrome because his parents were siblings (ie, due to incest).

The acting is on the melodramatic side, which I guess fits the atmosphere of the story.

The movie starts slow, but was pretty interesting once it got going.

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