Saturday, October 12, 2013

Horrors of October 2013 - The Signal (#12)

The Signal (2007)

This movie starts off pretty badly but deliberately so: a z-grade torture porn, shot on awful digital video, plays out for several minutes. It's an odd rickroll and it can unfortunately scare off many viewers, especially in the form of streaming. Once it cuts out and a blindingly destructive kaleidoscope of video signals takes up frame, this unusual horror indie truly hits its groove. All electronics have been hijacked by said signal, causing nearly everyone to be brainwashed and degenerate into walking sociopaths. We follow a small group of characters as they adapt to this dangerous scenario, split into three acts with each handled by a separate director. The main story of an insane love story between a CD-walkman-wearing woman, her oppressive exterminator husband, and her lover runs throughout it but the middle chapter does take a slight diversion, focusing more on black comedy as a New Year's Eve party falls apart. With an ultra low budget of $50,000 plus a heady script, THE SIGNAL is pretty incredible in its audacity to make you laugh at the gore jokes while also continually making you feel unnerved that a character could just suddenly go off the deep center. It's well suited for fans of David Cronenberg and those who cherish the humble origins and works of Peter Jackson. The acting is impressive, with A.J. Bowen as the deranged Lewis as the true star. However, the constant signal flashes, the few mellow indie scenes, and the psychological twists will discourage the casual set.


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