Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

It’s late this particular night and Ben (Justin Welborn), our hero, is awakened by his really nice plasma TV, because everybody in the movie has a really nice plasma TV, which is spouting off a strange signal that we will learn later on contains a message of EVIL! Or perhaps a message of clarity… who knows? Regardless, he wakes up his lover Mya (Anessa Ramsey) who realizes that it’s late and she should get back home to her husband. In this movie Mya would be our heroine more or less, but where I come from we would call Mya a F**KING WHORE! Not that’s there’s anything wrong with that mind you, just simply stating this is what we call unfaithful bitches where I come from, which would be the PLANET EARTH! (Editors Note: we, the management at the FCU, claim no responsibility for Christopher’s rant and apologize to all the unfaithful bitches out there who may be offended by this diatribe). So as Mya is making her way home she can sense immediately that something is terribly wrong in the world around her. By the time she gets to her apartment building, whatever is wrong has gotten progressively worse as the tenants are tense beyond belief. Things only get worse as she makes it to her apartment where her gigantor of a husband Lewis (AJ Bowen) is watching a game on the evil TV with a couple of his boys, but is way more concerned as to where the hell his whore of a wife has been.

Well now all hell breaks loose just about everywhere as Lewis takes a baseball bat to one of his friends, Mya flees the apartment only to witnesses a guy with some hedge cutters slitting throats and spinal chords, and all other kinds of crazy murderous acts have begun to take place. The Crazy done got all up in ‘em.

Not knowing what else to do, Mya leaves to make her way to the bus terminal where her boy Ben has laid out a rather elaborate plan where these wreckers of homes can go and be together forever, if Mya would just grow a pair (figuratively speaking of course) and leave her husband. You see we think The Crazy was up in Lewis at least to some

degree before he started watching the evil television, with the signal only exacerbating the matter as he sets about looking for his wife. He has an idea where she is because Ben came looking for Mya at her place of residence so Lewis introduces the man doing his wife to his good friend Louisville Slugger and is dragging him along for the ride. The bad news is that it looks like The Crazy done got to everybody with access to a television, radio or telephone, and though we’re not quite sure where The Crazy came from, it’s not looking good for the human race right about now… but what do we care about the death of society as we know it, as long as Ben and Mya can be together?

‘The Signal’ is a different kind of horror movie as its three acts is told in three different segments with three different writers and three different directors. David Bruckner’s ‘Transmission I’ starts things off and does it very well laying the foundation of this unseen event. This segment is presented in a classic horror style complete with the ‘Final Girl’ aspect as Bruckner gives his segment a solid underlying sense of dread with aspects of ‘Poltergeist’ and ‘The Thing’ as we try to figure who got The Crazy in ‘em and how these crazies need to be dealt with.

Dan Bush directs his ‘Transmission II’ segment and completely flips the script with it as the final girl has been kicked to the wayside with the movie turning into a dark comedy. Now this will either be a total disaster or a stroke of genius and I’m of the opinion that it’s the latter since this was my favorite part of the movie. It’s not that the humor is over the top funny or wacky in any way, it’s just very clever, very dark, and very macabre in its presentation and a lot fun to watch.

Jacob Gentry’s third act ‘Transmission III’ obviously represents the films third act as it races towards its resolution and this final act I found the least satisfying of the three in that it was fairly confusing, seemed more out of step with the overall tone of the film than the first two segments and seemed to waver between a standard conclusion or a more obtuse conclusion and ultimately I found almost no conclusion within its narrative. Just my opinion though.

Even though ‘The Signal’ does rely on a quite a few horror conventions that we’ve seen numerous times from other films, I do appreciate the way it presented its story in a way to make it seem different and even somewhat fresh. It may be a lower budget film and it does have its flaw,s but it largely rise above its limitations and quirks to provide a very solid and uniquely styled horror movie experience.

Real Time Web