“...did you find what you’re looking for...”
Cue the theme music for The Twilight Zone...
Meet three friends, Nic (Brenton Thwaites), Haley (Olivia Cooke) and Jonah (Beau Knapp), driving cross country to help Haley move until Nic and Jonah come into contact with an unseen hacker only known as Nomad who leads the trio to the middle of nowhere (literally) somewhere in Nevada when ...then Nic wakes up (perhaps days ...weeks ...months later – time isn’t explain but it will get your very suspicious in a moment) in a facility where he soon discovers it’s a place that his questions are many and will receive little or no answers from the mysterious Dr. Damon Wallace (Laurence Fishburne). Yep, there’s something definitely suspicious about him and his staff wearing hazmat suits as well as the creepy townfolks once he finally escapes the facility.
So ...just what really happened to Nic and his friends out there in the middle of the desert? That’s the mystery in which you have to solve along with Nic, blogspot readers, when watching this Twilight Zone inspired movie, The Signal. Directed by William Eubank, this sci-fi / thriller is like jumbo puzzle box of 500 pieces that don’t connect at first. That you have to do gradually through Nic’s dreamlike flashbacks and/or tiny bread crumbs sometimes left behind by Dr Wallace. Just to warn you, he doesn’t leave many. Along the way, you will definitely get the distinct feeling (just like Nic) there’s something quite strange gong on with not only Dr Wallace but also his staff, the facility, the townfolk, Nic and his friends. There’s no pill to see how deep this rabbit hole goes, blogspot readers. Yet, you’re immediately sucked into it till reaching the dramatically, shocking “oh my gosh ...didn’t see that coming” surprise at the end. Sorry, no spoilers here (and there are SO many she would like to tell you but won’t) ...you simply have to see this intriguing movie to discover its many secrets.
Co-written by Carlyle Eubank, William Eubank and David Frigerio, The Signal wonderfully blends more than the sci-fi and thriller into ninety-five minutes of its runtime. There are moments when you will find yourself laughing at the idiocy of the cognitive tests and questions that Laurence Fishburne’s character asks of Brenton Thwaites to cringing in you seat when a test on a cow goes (somewhat) unexpectedly wrong and a few “what the hell” creepy moments from the townfolks living within the area of this facility. The Signal left SouthSide guessing within its many twists and turns ...sometimes you think you got the movie all figured out but instead as more of its mystery gradually unravels, you realize you don’t. Yes, the story does have a tendency of becoming muddled as well as confusing within its own plot twists. However, she has a feeling that’s what director William Eubank was going for with The Signal. This reviewer noticed that feeling from Laurence Fishburne’s character. He wants to answer all of Nic’s questions but does not by donning that Morpheus-like stance and character tone ....only giving what you need to know until finally revealing his movie-ending surprise, And believe, SouthSide, it will blow you away, blogspot readers. Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke (loved her catatonic “dazed and confused” state) and Beau Knapp as the three friends caught inside the trap of The Signal’s mystery delivering wonderful character performances in which are believable and can easily follow. Yet the true star of this movie, in this reviewer’s opinion, isn’t the actors themselves. It’s the mystery surrounding The Signal ...the build-up towards the end was intense and had her on the edge and then falling into place with its conclusion.
SouthSide highly recommends checking out this movie if you’re looking for something more substance and intrigue that will keep you on your toes.
Until next time, support your local scene,