Franz Patrick's Movie Review of The Signal (2008)

Rating of

The Signal (2008)

Potential Lost
Franz Patrick - wrote on 08/18/08

The beginning was engaging because it was actually terrifying: a city gone crazy because of some mysterious signal eminating from telephones, television, and radio without any means of escape. I felt like I was right there with the heroine when everyone started to kill each other. However, after thirty minutes, it quickly went downhill because it couldn’t find its footing regarding its tone. The middle portion was labyrinthine because of two things: the violence being used as a form of amusement and the way that the filmmakers would play with the audiences’ perception. Regarding the former, I’m a fan of dark humour but this film had gone too far. At first it was funny but it quickly became downright degrading and borderline torture porn. If they had stayed with minimal violence and blood just for laughs (about five to ten minutes), it would have been okay. As for the latter, I don’t think it’s a good idea to explicitly trick the audience again and again and again because they eventually feel cheated and give up trying to put everything together. This is completely different from twist endings because twist endings involve one complete pay-off. Tricks, on the other hand, is presenting something false as real and switching them around miltiple times until the audiences get sick of it because it’s so confusing. Unfortunately, this movie is a big example of the latter and it just fell apart. It’s too bad because it has such a great premise. Instead of going straight for the horror, it delved into comedy. Instead of making the whole apocalypse as a global issue, it chose to be more personal and claustrophobic. I cannot recommend this to anyone because it is incredibly frustrating to watch.

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