A review of this film coming up just as soon as I listen to some Joy Division covers…
A Man and a Woman wake up in bed. The TV has switched itself on and a bizarre image plays. She picks up the phone and the same noise coming from the TV is coming from the phone. They shrug it off and she goes home to her Husband. But something is wrong with everyone, and it has something to do with that damn signal…
The Signal is actually three films in one, but are all essentially telling the same story. The first part is all set up, and I appreciate that they at least dive right in to it. It seems that the signal is altering people’s perception, and happens to be making them very violent. Sort of like The Crazies on LSD. I should stop here just to mention that I’m thankful it’s not zombies we’re dealing with here, and I like the implication that people can be brought back even after they’ve been ‘infected’. The people here aren’t mindless, they’ve just had their minds altered. You could probably make the argument that it’s a metaphor for how television is dumbing us down and turning us all into animals. I can never really support that idea though (And Lord knows this isn’t the first film to do it) because people will continue to be violent and people will continue to be dumb. I don’t think that would change if we all suddenly started to read books.
Undoubtedly the best part is the second segment of the film (It seems to be roughly split into 30 minute chunks), a very dark comedy about the dinner party from hell. It’s very funny (though very black). and would make a great short film all on it’s own, even though the last few minutes do take a turn for the nasty.
The last part of the film is probably the weakest of them all, thankfully though it’s not all tied up in a bow, and I’m glad that it at least ends on an ambiguous note (The film likes to play around with time a lot). It thankfully doesn’t try and explain the nature of the signal, though one character does speculate on it; I think his ideas are meant to be seen as idle ramblings you often get in these types of films.
I gather this review is incredibly short, but there’s not really that much else to say about it. Usually I would highlight a scene or segment that stood out from everything else, but that’s not really applicable here. It’s more a film of small ideas that don’t quite add up as a whole. It plays more as an experiment than anything else (The film’s 3 Directors were also the Writers), and I think that the lack of one cohesive voice writing the script probably hurt it more than helped it.
It’s definitely recommended though, but only as a rental.
Up Next: The similar themed (But better) Pontypool!