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The Signal [2014] is an independent science fiction (directed by William Eubank) that introduces three MIT students: Nic (Brenton Thwaites), Jonah (Beau Knapp) and Haley (Olivia Cooke) as they go on a road trip to California. On the way there, Nic and Jonah decide to locate and confront a mysterious hacker which is stalking their (physical) movements online. The trio ends up waking up in a foreign place, while Nic gets acquainted with Laurence Fishburne (in a cool looking space suit).

Interesting premise with a clouded script. The Signal generates interest from the outset. The mystery surrounding this unknown hacker and the road trip gives no clues on where this film eventually leads. The premise is meaty enough on its own. Some aspects were crucial while others completely useless. It’s all in the editing. Too much is going on. Plus, occasionally the dialogue sounds unnatural considering the context. Some of the characters exhibited strange and somewhat frightening behavior (see religious church lady).

Unintentional comedy from the OTT. A particular scene (somewhere in the second half of the movie) where Nic and Jonah are yelling about something (not saying what!) is a perfect example of what happens when actors perform without conviction (unconvincing comical delivery).

Nicely timed VFX.  It makes up for some of the above-mentioned missteps. Instead of putting it all out there from the very beginning, The Signal opts for a strategic reveal. The VFX is slowly increased and aides make each instance surprising and more potent.

 

What could have potentially been great, settles for good enough. 

Watch The Signal on iTunes or Amazon

The Signal
3.0Overall Score
Reader Rating 1 Vote

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