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The Signal

The basic premise of this movie is that a mysterious transmission blasting through the airwaves is picked up by televisions, cellphones and radios and turns your average, every day people into blood thirsty, psychotic killers.  Admittedly, this movie does sound a little ridiculous, but give it time and it will surprisingly redeem itself.

Ages ago when I was playing around with ffmpeg options I spent a lot of time on Apple's trailer site and The Signal was one of the few that piqued my interest, so when the opportunity to watch it presented itself, I kicked back and gave it a whirl.  It starts off a little weak (pun intended), but eventually winds up overmodulating itself into the "somewhat decent" and "enjoyable" parts of the spectrum.

The movie is essentially a classic story of shit hitting the fan told from three different perspectives.  Some strange signal starts hijacking cell phones, televisions and radios and if you watch it long enough, it drives you bat shit looney to the point where you grab a baseball bat (or gardening shears, or the poison from your exterminator truck) and start putting stuff right.  The interesting part of the story comes from the characters who haven't been exposed to the signal interacting with those who've found a way to counteract it.  I personally enjoyed the scene where Clark, the building's superintedent (Scott Poythress), who's gone nutty as a shithouse rat, reanimates a severed head using wood screws and a battery charger and the reaction it brings from hero/love interest Ben (Justin Welborne).

If you're after just straight slice-n-dice action, you don't be disappointed with this film.  A lot of people die in a lot of creative ways and it's interesting to watch as the non-crazy folks break.  If you're after a love story, the catalyst for all 3 points of view is Mya Denton (Anessa Ramsey) as she weighs the options between lover Ben and now-crazy husband Lewis Denton (AJ Bowen).  If you're after a sheer worst case scenario, well, the fact half the characters on the IMDB are "Random Bod(y|ies)" and "Deranged People" are kind of a tip-off.

When it's all said and done, this isn't a half bad little movie.  The characters all redeem themselves and actually prove to be quite interesting and towards the end it has a very sweet, Pulse-ish post apocalyptic feel to it.  If it's ever on Video on Demand or you see it sitting on the shelf in your local video store, pick it up and you won't be disappointed.  I wouldn't pay top-tier theater prices though.

The Petey Factor

Initially, this movie illicited nothing more than a "meh" from The Girl, but by the end she'd upgraded it to a slightly more commital "good", including the requisite girl-ish nod.  In that respect, anyone wanting to watch this movie with a member of the fairer sex won't find themselves in the doghouse.