The Seventh Sign
Time Out saysAn apocalyptic thriller which focuses on an intimate familial dilemma, this should find favour among those who prefer supernatural disquiet to visceral shocks. A young mother-to-be (Moore) suffers recurring nightmares. Disturbed by these fragmentary premonitions, she begins to imagine that the fate of her child is somehow bound up with a series of strange natural phenomena which, some say, herald the end of the world: the sea around a Haitian island boils, an Israeli desert village freezes over, the sun is eclipsed, the moon glows red. Her nightmares also seem to be linked to a mysterious stranger (Prochnow), who moves into an adjoining apartment, and whose silent brooding and unnatural interest in the unborn child she interprets as a diabolical threat. Schultz's stylish visuals and sympathetic handling of the actors creates an unsettling atmosphere of understated menace; and the unfolding mystery (drawing upon both the Book of Revelations and ancient Jewish mythology) generates a tremendous cumulative tension, the climactic scene working all the better for being staged on a human scale.