‘Keep telling yourself it’s just a game…’
The Twilight Zone meets X-Men…
The Signal starts off as a relatively straight forward hacker road trip but then quickly takes a turn for the bizarre and never stops turning. A young cast featuring the decent Brenton Thwaites, the slightly better Olivia Cooke and the brilliant Beau Knapp is held together by veteran actor Laurence Fishburne who is suitably sinister as a mysterious scientist.
A common criticism of films of this ilk is that they can’t decide what they want to be. The Signal director William Eubank doesn’t seem to care much for choosing a genre as The Signal flits between Sci-Fi, Action, Romantic Drama and Found Footage horror. This seems to have been a deliberate choice on Eubank’s part to disorientate the viewer however, rather than a lack of ideas.
Eubank mixes some grandiose ideas and Terrence Malick-esque arty direction with over the top plot twists to create a baffling but compelling viewing experience. The Signal is not a film you will forget in a hurry but the pay off of the final twist at the end is offset by the fact that rest of the film is so weird which reduces any shock value.
I don’t know what genre The Signal is supposed to be, I don’t know what the message of The Signal is supposed to be, hell I don’t even know if it is any good or not. I do know that it left me wanting more though and that is always a good thing.