Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The Signal (2007)
This is the best horror film released so far this year. Yes, this one gets the award! And it is a film about what is “by far the most fucked up day in the history of mankind,” to quote a line from the film.
Divided into segments titled “Transmission 1,” and “Transmission 2,” etc., The Signal tells the story of several characters in the very real fictional city of Terminus during a major catastrophe. A signal being broadcasted through TV, radio, and telephone is turning anyone who watches or listens to it into a paranoid, violent maniac. The city erupts into apocalyptic chaos, and the story of three main characters is told through flashbacks and stories that intersect.
Filmed for a meager $50,000(!) in under two weeks in Atlanta, Georgia by three directors, The Signal is a product of modern digital technology used to cut costs. It turned out perfectly, and has a polished look to it not usually scene in other films of such low cost.
The film is funny, disturbing, bloody, gory, violent, suspenseful, and brutal without reveling in gratuitousness. Its unflinching dark humor carries social commentary without banging us over the head with it. There are already plenty of people getting banged over the head in this film. In fact, people get killed in pretty much every way imaginable.
This is an excellent film on every level. The story is memorable and unique, the acting is convincing and funny, it is just great all around.
I don’t usually waste my time reviewing films everybody will like, so I will leave it at that. I just had to spread the word on my favorite entry into the horror genre this year. Maybe I’ll write more later…