Apparently some guys made a short film that lead to a feature length version being commissioned. The Signal is that full length feature.
Now I hope you get my ‘signal’ loud and clear: DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I MADE. GIVE THE SIGNAL A WIDE BERTH!
Cutting to the chase something has gone haywire. People exposed to electronic devices suddenly become incredibly and randomly violent, pointing their rage outwards at passers by, loved ones or themselves.
The early stages of this particular ‘happening’ leave thousands dead and the non-effected bewildered and desperate.
One such guy is Ben, who only the previous day managed to convince Mya to leave her hubby Lewis and run away with him. We follow him as he tries to navigate his way through the carnage to find his beloved and escape the madness, only he has no way of knowing if Mya is even kicking, and to top things off Lewis is actually very much on the scene and very much insane.
The entire hook of the mystifying plot is misdirection, which is unfortunate as the thing is so successful in its misdirection that you have no way of knowing what the fuck is going on and to whom… For long periods we view things from the perspective of the central character at the time: that includes their hallucinations, delusions and straight up visual red herrings. One second it’s a dream, then it’s real, then we’re told that it wasn’t actually X thinking or seeing that stuff at all. It was Y in a dream. Even if you actually see something or someone do or say something you must wait several minutes before you can believe it, and often times in that span they switch up and say ‘fooled ya’ by showing it wasn’t who or what you thought at all.
As a viewer I am willing to go along with such concepts for so long and try to keep track of the real while discarding the trickery. But I’m a kitten chasing a piece of string for only so long, after an hour or so I become a 4 year old asking for ice-cream, by all means continue being faux clever and fooling yourself that you’re really scaring and riveting the audience to their spot. But at some point you better give me my fucking ice-cream!
There is some violence and gore that actually works in the early minutes as the confusion is still only confusing and not yet infuriating. The rest of the film rapidly degenerates into Pontypool’s ugly dumb cousin.
Final Rating – 5.5 – 10. Confusing and bewildering might be scary if it’s happening to you – especially if you’re surrounded by random extreme violence. But if you’re watching it and being kept in the dark it’s merely annoying.