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The Signal


By G. Brian Davis | Posted 2/27/2008

It takes a special type of person to appreciate The Signal, a horror/sci-fi/thriller split into three distinct segments, each written and directed separately. The movie's premise is simple: A signal broadcast over television, radio, and telephone lines reduces anyone tuning in to a state of violent psychosis. While the spluttering narrative takes strange detours and snags on inconsequential moments, the plot revolves around three members of a love triangle, who exhibit varying symptoms of the digital dementia. Mya (Anessa Ramsey) tries to escape the city, while her lover (Justin Welborn) and husband (A.J. Bowen) each tries to find her amid the carnage, and spill mass quantities of each other's blood in the process. The Signal starts relatively strongly, asking genuine questions about people's moral responsibility to one another, and indicting a society more connected to airwaves than to neighbors. Before long, though, terror gives way to kitsch in a distracting and messy second act, and the movie never fully recovers despite the third installment's efforts. If you're a fan of the midnight movies and grindhouse flicks of the '70s, you'll probably get a kick out of The Signal, and despite narrative flaws and a chaotic feel, it's still fresher than any horror remake Hollywood has spit out recently.

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