Back in January, a lot of buzz was coming out of Sundance about this weird sci-fi movie, The Signal. But then it never came to my theatre and I totally missed any chance of catching it. Well I was able to rectify that just this week... and I'm left wondering if it was worth the effort.
It's the story of three friends (Nic, Haley, and Jonah) following a hacker deep into the heart of Nevada. But when they finally stumble on the house they believe to be the source of his signal, everything goes wrong. Nic wakes up in a quarantined hospital bed with no control over his legs. And things only get worse from there.
The only problem is, the movie seems intent on asking a million questions simply to mislead you... or rather they never find a balance between giving enough info and making a movie that is compelling. The nonsensical nature of the film becomes a burden and when the final moments at long last play out... sort of giving answers... mind you, to questions that were never asked in the first place... I found it difficult to care one way or the other. Now for a film of this size, the effects were pretty cool. But clearly those were only budgeted for about three scenes out of the whole movie, and then awkward steps are taken to give the illusion that they are still there.
However, I don't have a problem with what William Eubank, the director, has done here. I think it's really cool that a camera guy can come forward with a completed feature film... and one that does look and seem pretty cool... if we just ignore the lack of a story, this is a pretty great movie. Unfortunately, I can't ignore that personally. But I do think, from a film school perspective, this could be a good teaching lesson for anyone who wants to prove their own abilities... kind of like Monsters. It's good enough to prove that this guy can make something bigger for a studio.
So while I say congrats to Eubank I really don't think this flick is for everyone... or rather, most people. It's not exactly something to watch for entertainment's sake... but it is a teachable lesson... if that makes sense.