“The Signal” stars AJ Bowen, Anessa Ramsey, Justin Welborn, and Scott Poythress. It’s directed by first-time director David Bruckner and amateur director Dan Bush (A Day in the Life, Goodbye Day).
A signal is contaminating the minds of normal people extracting rage, paranoia and personality change. The story, told in increments of three revolve, around a unfaithful woman (Anessa Ramsey) and her desperate attempt to remain alone and trust nobody, a jealous man (AJ Bowen) determined to find his infidel wife, and two men (Justin Welborn and Scott Poythress) who try find a way of escaping a seemingly terminus signal.
The opening scene of the film gives the impression that this just might be a throwback to 80’s horror films, but it quickly descends into a chilling modern day horror flick. A good thing when done properly and this film certainly delivers the blood-drenched candy every horror fanatic is aching for. There are times when the dialog has an awkward feel to it, particularly at the beginning during the conversation pertaining to an unfaithful marriage. This all plays out well considering this should be an unwieldy experience between these two characters. While the third and final increment is indeed where the film loses steam, I still enjoyed every savage bash to the head and every perricidal attack the film had to offer.
I do have enough bravura to say that this has some of the most harrowing, disturbing, and downright frightening scenes in a apocalyptic horror flick I have seen in near decades. Unlike most widespread disaster films, this one interprets individual survival rather than relying on sticking together to fend of the “crazy people”. However, the film loses a hefty amount of terror when it tries to blend comedy with horror. All of this is very a unnecessary attempt, concluding that is a very well orchestrated horror flick with humor as flat as it is unwanted.
The film worked better as a fright fest than when it spontaneously threw in some discouraging humor. On the plus side, the brutal attacks are unexpected, well-shot, and most of all drenched with blood. Don’t let the humor and that uninspired twist at the end spoil all the goods beforehand. It could’ve had a wide release and would’ve surpassed most recent wide release horror flicks including “P2”, “Prom Night”, and “Pulse”. This is nothing to be ashamed about and deserves a mildly high recommendation with the possibility of it gaining a cult status.