Director: Bill Paxton
Year Released: 2002
It could also be called The Anti-'Signs.' Echoes Shyamalan's use of straight-faced Divine Intervention but in a completely new and challenging way, asking you to accept some pretty out-there ideas and plot-twists but doing so with such intensity and gumption you almost have to be impressed (and surprise, no baseball bats or aliens!). Whatever 'it' is as a director, Paxton has it, pulling off a truly ballsy move - it challenges the very idea of spirituality, something a lot of others filmmakers wouldn't go near (it's also surprising considering its release in a year where scandals rocked the Catholic Church, exposing weakness among those the religious are supposed to find 'morally superior'). Not a complete success – the axe murdering becomes a little redundant and some of the finer points could have used some clarification – but tries to play by its own rules. This is one of the sleeper hits of 2002 (just like the equally-flawed Chopper back in 2000).