MovieChat Forums > Signs (2002) Discussion > Maybe Aliens Can Stand Water, But Only a...

Maybe Aliens Can Stand Water, But Only at an Extreme pH


Lots of organisms on Earth thrive at pH levels outside of the range of "neutral" water that humans prefer

pH, in case you don't know, is the measure of acidity or basicity of water. 14 being the most basic and 0 being the most acidic. This is a bit of an oversimplification, but for the sake of discussing a movie it should do

All living organisms that we know of require water in some form to carry out their biological functions. This is because water is the "universal solvent" and at a cellular level we need everything to be floating around in some kind of fluid for a cell to maintain it's structure and also be able to metabolize and what-not

The water we drink and use to bathe, which was what was used to fight the aliens should be at a pH at, or close to, 7, which we call "neutral".

It could be that aliens do use water, like every other known living thing, but have evolved so that a pH of 7 is corrosive and toxic

The main problem with this is that there is humidity in the air. Water vapor exists in the atmosphere at certain small concentrations just about everywhere. So it would be like they were walking in an environment filled with a toxic, corrosive gas. But maybe they can tolerate very small concentrations of water

I think Shyamalan drew inspiration from Wells's War of the World's, in that everyday objects (microbes in the case of WotW) are deadly to the alien invaders. Water is definitely sillier, but not totally out of the realm of possibility

Another flaw with the idea of water being toxic to aliens is that large modern farms with lots of crops should have fairly sophisticated irrigation systems, so there should be way more moisture in the crop fields relative to the surrounding atmosphere. So crops fields would probs be among the last places that these naked aliens would lurk. But Shyamalan is a writer/director, I doubt he knows much about farming. Oh well

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Shyamalan draws inspiration from his own inherent fear of water.

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=O

I did not know this. I still think War of the Worlds must have played a part as well. I like Shyamalan more than most, I think. I don't mind the maybe-plot holes in some of his movies. I consider Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs to be modern classics despite their flaws

But he has definitely shown a tendency to "borrow" from other sources. Some may go so far as to say he plagiarizes, but I think the only case where the similarities between one of his movies and another work are too similar is with The Village. Everything else he tweaks enough to not be plagiarism

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The atmospheric water is fairly neutral. It would be like us walking around in acid fumes.

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Yeppers

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It's possible that the aliens aren't really extraterrestrials -- as we understand 'em, at least -- but rather demons from the underworld (the dark spiritual dimension) invading the physical realm to take as many victims as they can. The idea that they are aliens is just a mass deception and, remember, the devil is the "father of lies."

There are many clues: The spaceships are never seen, just lights in the sky (the devil's also called "the prince of the power of the air" in the bible). The primitive method of harming the aliens is discovered in the Middle East and is holy water. The daughter was said to be a "gift from God" who was sensitive to impure water. The dog and bird were clearly possessed. The crop circles are occultic symbols and possible portals to the underworld. When the disillusioned minister cries out to God that he hates him he actually displays his faith; after all, he has to believe in God to speak to him. At that precise moment his son recovers from the asthma attack and the news announcer declares that the "aliens" are retreating. You see, FAITH sends the enemy fleeing with their tails between their legs.

Also, we see evidence that the demons are personal in nature. The "alien" locked in the vet's pantry was linked to the guilt and disillusionment that haunted the vet and the minister after the death of the latter's wife.

There are other clues, but I don't want to spoil the fun of finding them for yourself.

I'm not saying that this is the only interpretation of the film, but rather that it's a legitimate way of viewing the material because it all ties together. Also, I'm not suggesting that you have to believe in God to appreciate this movie, which is obviously not the case.

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I've heard of this theory before. It is a cool theory and it makes sense

I don't know if Shyamalan meant to add this as a possible alternative explanation or if it just happened to line up really well with the events, but it is interesting. Despite its flaws, Signs is one of my favorite movies

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The alien interpretation is the surface reading whereas the demonic interpretation is the deeper explanation, tying-in with Graham Hess' disillusionment with the Creator & faith.

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