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The Signal

163 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This film is the horrific journey toward discovering that the most brutal monster might actually be within each of us. A sci-fi/horror/thriller that imagines a world where everyday anxieties become the catalyst for inhuman terror. All forms of communicati


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Anessa Ramsey, Justin Welborn, Scott Poythress, Sahr Ngaujah, AJ Bowen
  • Directors: Dan Bush, David Bruckner, Jacob Gentry
  • Writers: Dan Bush, David Bruckner, Jacob Gentry
  • Producers: Alexander Motlagh, David C. Ballard
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Magnolia
  • DVD Release Date: June 10, 2008
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001662FKK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,993 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Signal" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Chris Pandolfi on February 26, 2008
"The Signal" is the work of natural independent filmmakers, and it shows because they focus on actual storytelling instead of unimportant details. You watch it without analyzing anything--you just let the story happen, and you take it for almost everything it's worth. The surprising thing is that it achieves all this despite being a supernatural thriller, a genre notorious for trying to explain everything; here's a story that explains virtually nothing yet still manages to be both understandable and frightening. The basic idea seems unnerving enough, if a little too reminiscent of Stephen King's "Cell": in the fictional city of Terminus (whose very name must be symbolic), a signal sent through television sets on New Year's Eve makes anyone watching it irrational, paranoid, psychotic, and homicidal. This signal, wherever it came from, distorts perceptions of reality and makes the victim see things that aren't there and understand things that make no sense. As a result, people kill each other left and right for no apparent reason. They have The Crazy in their heads.

In the midst of this chaos are three main characters caught in a bizarre love triangle, and this is fitting since the film is divided into three distinct sections, or in this case, transmissions. The first, called "Crazy in Love," introduces us to Mya (Anessa Ramsey) and Ben (Justin Welborn), who are secretly having an affair. Ben awakens in the middle of the night and notices his TV, which he thought had been turned off; not only is it on, the screen shows nothing but patterned white static, as well. Then Mya awakens, and when she realizes what time it is, she hurriedly dresses and heads for home.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. Horwatt on March 26, 2009
Format: DVD
The three segments were directed by three different people, and the shifting gears are very, very noticeable. The first segment is violent and disturbing without much humor, followed by a second act which becomes broadly (although darkly) comic and then shifts sharply back to disturbing and violent, and the tone of the third segment is back to more or less straight horror/apocalypse.

I thought the uncertainty about who is affected by the Signal and who is not, and the fact that different characters are affected to different degrees, was a very interesting direction and adds a lot of paranoia to an already paranoid situation.

Overall, this had a fresh and creative feel, and was well worth watching. Do watch the extra vignettes that were shot for the DVD, portraying some scenes that occur at other locations in Terminus, not involving the characters of the main film. They are more in the darkly comic vein, particularly the scene with the husband, wife, and children in a minivan.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. P. Miskowski on September 12, 2009
Format: DVD
Directed by David Bruckner, Dan Bush, and Jacob Gentry

The Signal received a fair number of critical accolades before its theatrical release. But if there is one thing I've learned about highly touted horror flicks, it is to keep an open mind no matter what other people say. The genre has many sub-categories, and some fans don't cross over. One fan's delight is another's five dollar trade-in value.

This technically expert study of mass violence is divided into a three-part structure with a different writer for each segment or transmission:

Trans 1.0
Crazy Love
written by David Bruckner
A married woman says good night to her lover and leaves him distractedly watching TV, while a signal keeps jamming the picture, reducing it to a flashing kaleidoscope. The woman returns home to her suspicious, TV-viewing husband, who is involved in an argument that will soon escalate.

Trans 2.0
The Jealousy Monster
written by Jacob Gentry
The characters from the first segment intersect with their neighbors down the street. The neighbors have been preparing a New Year's Eve party, unaware that violence has erupted outside. Some characters realize what is happening, and others are in denial.

Trans 3.0
written by Dan Bush
Escape from Terminus
Characters from both previous segments try to outwit one another--and separate reality from their delusions--long enough to make their way out of town.

In theoretical terms, the structure is interesting. New and strange twists of fate might occur with different artists creating portions of the narrative. But forty-five minutes in, horror lapses uneasily into farce, in Trans 2.0, and leaves the blood-stained surviving characters washed up in a mundane setting.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By JBizzle on March 31, 2008
Format: Blu-ray
Right off the bat, EVERY ONE'S GOTTA SEE THIS!!! This's gotta be one of the best independent horror flicks that I've seen in a loooooong time. The plot in a nut shell (as not to give away too much) is basically about a mysterious "signal" broadcast over television, phone, radio, etc, etc that turns anyone who watches or listens into paranoid homocidal nuts. This is truely a well acted, frightening flick (props to the director)that'll have you at the edge of your seat through out the entire film. The other thing I loved about the movie is that as scary as the movie is, it's hilarious at the same time. I was literally laughing out loud one minute & then terrified the next. The movie shows you the perspective of the crazies & it's great. For all you gore hounds out there the movie lets the red stuff flow liberally, so no fear there (and it's not the amatuer kool-aid stuff you see in most low budget horror flicks today). For anyone that's ever enjoyed goofy/gorey horror flicks, you'll wanna check this one out ("Evil Dead 2" anyone?), I'm absolutely adding this one to my collection & I think you should too. BUY THIS MOVIE!!!
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