Friday, October 28, 2016

Seventh Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series #15: The Signal

A much easier watch for me - much less suspenseful and squirm-inducing!  I give you: The Signal (2007), a funky little movie in three parts (or "Transmissions"), each written and directed by a different writer/director, like V/H/S or the Tarantino/Rodriquez Grindhouse, although the parts are all closely intertwined.

In Transmission I, Maya has overslept.  She snuck out to see her lover, lying to her husband that she was going out for dinner and drinks with "the girls," and after their tryst, she fell asleep for a while.  She is woken up when Ben shuts off the t.v., which is glitching and swirling with weird images and static.  He asks her to leave her husband, saying that they could leave town (the town is named "Terminus" which (1) why even bother naming the town? and (2) anyone who watches the Walking Dead knows that towns called Terminus are never good), just go to "Terminal 13 and get on a train."  Maya loves Ben but can't quite leave her husband yet.  However, when she gets home, she realizes that the weird signal from the t.v. has turned everyone who was watching into paranoid, violent killing machines, including her already insanely jealous husband Lewis.  Maya gets the fuck out of there.  In Transmission II, we are attending what should have been a New Year's Eve party where Anna, the hostess, at first has a hard time wrapping her head around the fact that the world has just gone crazy.  It gets crazier when Maya crashes her car out front in an attempt to get away from a t.v.-crazy, and then even more insane when Lewis shows up, searching for his wife.  Finally, in Transmission III, we follow Ben as he tries to find Maya.  Lewis is the through-line through all three Transmissions, tracking and attacking Ben from Anna's party to Terminal 13.

Nothing in The Signal is particularly new or groundbreaking.  You can easily pick out the references and influences, from Japanese horror movies and Stephen King's Cell (in which technology does bad things to people), to the 28 Days/Weeks Later movies (with the rage-crazies; see also The Crazies, since no one is actually a zombie).  But it is well acted and moves along, each Transmission both picking up from and overlapping with the others.  Transmission I is more straight-forward horror, Transmission II is funnier and Transmission III finishes on a pretty grim note.  The Signal as a whole is plain ol' violence and gore; there's not much suspense and hardly any jump scares, so I liked it just fine.

Image result for the signal 2007

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