Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

The Signal

 
 

By Don Hill

A small release for a small budget film meant this film was under the radar for most people.  The film has a solid (if previously done) horror premise, that an electronic "signal" is being transmitted through cell phones, TV, and radio broadcasts that instills madness in the public, which induces violence and chaos in the general population.

The film is separated into three separate acts, and each section is helmed by a separate director.  (This is readily apparent in the transition from Act Two to Act Three.)  Act Two is the only one played for any laughs and there are a few good chuckles to be had as the characters react to the rest of the world being totally out of control.  (The scene with the party hostess offering cocktails while covered in blood was very well done.)  As characters are given small doses of the signal they go only half nuts, hallucinating, talking to themselves, etc and this makes the story bizarre but in a good nuanced way. 

The POV of the story changes several times to good effect as we see things from different characters' perspective.  This gets even more bizarre once everyone has been affected and hallucinations abound.  It gets hard to tell who is talking to whom at times but this just adds to the ambient effect of paranoia.   

One line of the film stuck with me long after the credits rolled.  "If we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change."  Not a bad line from a movie that is mainly people killing others for no reason.  Bravo to the writer/director/editor or whoever was responsible for the ending.  It was brilliant.  

I really liked this film.  It wasn't fantastic but it was a good horror outing from a bunch of unknowns that have almost no experience.  It is certainly better than the majority of horror films from the last decade, even taking into account the $48 budget they spent on this movie.  If you like horror movies and don't mind the magenta colored corn syrup, give this a try.  You might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

3 ½ / 5 stars
 

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