Monday, April 2, 2012
THE SIGNAL MOVIE REVIEW
SIX AND A HALF STARS OUT OF TEN
So somewhere between editing my 600-plus-page novel for the umpteenth time and changing a billion dirty diapers - literally, a billion - I managed to see this movie in its entirety. It was about a month ago, but I will now attempt to squeeze out a review.
The Signal was released in 2007 in select theaters. Starring AJ Bowen of House of the Devil and Hatchet 2 fame, the movie is split into three different parts and follows three related characters through the madness. People have gone crazy listening to a signal relayed through television, phone, and radio. They turn on each other, employing various tools to up the brutality factor. This film is not for the wishy washy horror movie fan - it is gory, Gory, GORY.
The beginning of this movie drew me in. The director was really aiming for that 70s/early 80s cult horror classic feel. I'm no film school graduate, but I imagine some of it has to do with the type of film stock that is used. Also, the choice of blood red for the titles/introductions and the overall rawness of the opening scene. In the end, the first scene had little to do with the story or any of the main characters, and in turn was kind of random.
The plot of the movie is not very original (read The Cell by Stephen King), but that doesn't bother me as much anymore. I mean, what hasn't been done before? As long as the movie or book brings something different to the table and brings it well.
This film is quite scary in Part One, but takes a nosedive in Part Two when it splits personality and can't decide whether it wants to scare you or kind of make you laugh, but not really. Part Three is disappointing, too, with the ending fizzling out and leaving you (or maybe just me) like "Uhhhh, so what just happened?"
On a positive note, throughout the film the distorted television signal is constantly on the screen, and it had my viewing partner and I worried we were going to start smashing things over each other's heads. For a movie to achieve The Fear of Going Crazy, it has to be doing something right, right?