The Signal is a limited release horror movie that I had very high expectations for ever since I saw a trailer for it last year. It is directed by three different people (David Bruckner, Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry), who each do a separate segment of the story. This movie is absolutely fantastic and by far one of my favorite horror movies that I have ever seen. Now before you go and drive 35 miles to get to the nearest theater that this is playing in (like I did), I would like to mention that this movie may not be for everyone. It is low budget, stars a bunch of no-name actors, is extremely violent and the way it is told can easily put one off. For me though, I’m convinced that the movie was made with me in mind because it captures all that a horror movie should be – dark, thrilling, gory, tense, brutal, and fun as hell – and done precisely as I would have made it.
I would like to leave out most of the plot here because it is absolutely outstanding and I think it has to be seen to appreciate what a horror premise looks like when it is executed to perfection. Without saying too much, the story is about a mysterious signal that goes through the phone, the television, and the radio that makes everyone explode into a murderous rampage. The longer the signal is heard, the more profound the violence is. It’s interestingly broken up into three transmissions (think act) – Transmission One, directed by Bruckner, lays the ground work for the incredible chaos; Transmission Two, directed by Gentry, continues the story but tells it from a very peculiar, comedic perspective; and Transmission Three, directed by Bush, returns the movie to its horror base but with a love twist. Each segment has its own flair, yet they meld so well together it is hard to discern that each is indeed told from a different creative perspective.
Aside from the list of great things in the preceding paragraphs, I firmly believe that I loved The Signal so much because of the characters – Mya (Anessa Ramsey), Ben (Justin Welborn), Lewis (AJ Bowen), Anna (Cheri Christian) and Clark (Scott Poythress). They are fleshed out good enough to feel for them when they get hurt (physically and emotionally) and or killed. And although we get to know these characters pretty well they are left open enough to not know what to expect next or what they will do to survive. I also liked the fact that there aren’t any traditional villains in this film. The characters for the most part are fighting against mindless mobs, each other and to a lesser extent themselves. This charges the film and keeps it moving at a fast pace, making it all the more suspenseful and exciting.
To say the least, I have to recommend The Signal wholeheartedly to anyone who is a fan of horror because it accurately represents what a true horror film is all about – it’s got more than enough thrills, chills and bloodshed to meet your needs. For those of you on the fence, I’d say to look past the gore and see the movie based on the fact it is also an extremely well thought-out film. It has characters that one can easily relate with and a rock solid story that is both scary and brilliant. If my review even remotely piques your interest (and I hope it does) then get off the computer and get to the nearest theater that this is playing in. It might be hard to find but it is well worth the trip and then some.