Director – Carl Shultz
Cast – Demi Moore, Michael Biehn, Jürgen Prochnow, Peter Friedman, Manny Jacobs, John Taylor, Lee Garlington
Release Year – 1988
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This was not a film I planned on watching, but boredom at work and seeing that I had yet to review a horror film starring Demi Moore left me thinking “well what the hell? I might as well…”, and I took the plunge into The Seventh Sign. I had a darn good feeling that the film would not be great, but in the end it provided me with an OK experience of religious horror that only suffered from the usual Hollywood woes.
Abby(Demi Moore; Mr. Brooks, Parasite) and Russell(Michael Bein; Planet Terror, Aliens, The Abyss, They Wait) Quinn are expecting their first child, and despite Abby’s pregnancy complications they are looking positively to their future with the baby. When a strange man, David Bannon(Jurgen Prochnow), rents the couple’s backyard apartment, strange occurrences begin occurring around Abby and her baby, occurrences that also concur with strange Biblical phenomena all across the globe. As the due date for the Quinn’s baby nears, Abby begins to notice strange writings in David’s apartment, which turn more serious when she has them translated and learns her baby’s role in the strong apocalyptic fate of mankind.
I have always been a fan of horror films with religious subject matter, so naturally I was curious to how the film’s apocalypse-esque story was going to play out. The idea of a baby thrown into the mix was not an original one, but it helped sell the drama and conflict placed on Abby as she was forced to endure not only pregnancy complications but the possibility that her baby will be responsible for mankind’s continuance of destruction. The first act of the film was a bit ambiguous due to how David was being used, seeing him scour the earth until he finally makes his way to the Quinn residence. It was during this act that we were given hints at the possibility of cool history being thrown into the mix, namely the destruction of Sodom, but the film sadly never went in that direction and instead gave us the usual Hollywood antics of Abby going crazy over the little clues that David leaves around and Russell brushing her off as delusional due to stress related to pregnancy. So if this is just a run-of-the-mill film then why a borderline-positive 6-rating? Well, during the latter half of the film things got pretty interesting with the reasoning behind David’s existence and the need for Abby’s baby coming to light. I don’t want to spoil things of course, however I will say that the film’s climax was a highly satisfying one that I found creative, thought-provoking, and downright honorable, making this Hollywood religious horror story a strong closer in my opinion.
Director Carl Shultz did an OK job with this watch, basically executing the film good enough to make this a decent watch, but taking little time to turn the film into anything spectacular. The casting choices were fine, and we get the usually awesome Jurgen Prochnow(Sutter Cane in In The Mouth of Madness) expertly portraying the film’s so-called “antagonist”. I thought it was quite cool to see Demi Moore in a horror film, but it was really just the idea that was cool given Demi really did not offer a whole lot to the mix over what any other actress could/would have offered. Shultz’s execution of the drama and conflict was good, and while this is a “horror” film there were no true scary or chilling scenes in the film, coming off somewhat Stigmata-esque, but a bit better of course. Thankfully, Shultz complimented the film’s climax with equally great execution in making sure that despite what happened before it, the climax was great.
Overall, The Seventh Sign is an OK watch that gives us a decent Biblical apocalypse story that falls victim to the usual Hollywood antics. This is not necessarily a bad thing if you know what you are getting yourself into, but I will not recommend this film to the average horror buff, but it makes an OK film if you need help relieving boredom.