I actually had the opportunity to watch The Signal in theaters when it came out. For free. There was a pre-screening one whole day before it came out to make you feel special and I had tickets to go. The only issue was it started four hours after I got off of work and I didn’t want to wait around for the random movie. Hell, even the director told me I should go see it.
But apathy took over, and even the random picture didn’t help.
The only thing that drove me to watching this movie at this point was having the time and nothing better to do. (Which is relative. I had less than 2 hours of time and nothing to do. Plenty of other movies I wanted to see above it).
How I picture the face of William Eubank when he found out I didn’t go.
MIT students come in all shapes and sizes. Like Nic (Brenton Thwaites) who has muscular dystrophy, (which chrome wants to auto correct to astrophysics…foreshadowing?!). He is helping take his girlfriend, Haley (Olivia Cooke) to school, along with his MIT friend Jonah (Beau Knapp). Those two are in trouble with MIT because a hacker named NOMAD hacked into MIT servers using their IPs or something, so MIT rightfully assumed it was them.
But outside of that, Nic wants to end the relationship, because long distance + deteriorating disease = not a good time.
While almost to California, they get strange signals in the middle of nowhere Nevada. In fact, they think it is Nomad. They kind of want to show them a piece of their mind.
Next thing they know, people start flying around, darkness, scares, loud noises. Boom. Waking up in a very white room with people wearing protective hazmat suits around them. And at the center of it all is Damon (Laurence Fishburne), who tells them they have been in contact with aliens and need to be studied. Well screw that. They aren’t lab rats. He wants to get out of there. Hopefully he feels less diseased and more powerful after that alien encounter.
“Da fuq mate, don’t come near me with your ectoplasm.”
Sorry director who tweeted me. But I am glad I didn’t waste four or so hours of my life waiting to see this movie and then watching it. It had some unique moments in it, especially near the end. But the first 4/5 of the film just felt so weak and underwhelming. I can blame this solely on the actors involved too. I like Olivia Cooke in Bates Motel, but her character wasn’t given a lot to work with. It was mostly Nic with a lot of Damon and neither of them impressed me. They were pushing me towards sleep almost.
It is definitely unique, in a few ways. Lets not take away that aspect. And it is for sure Science Fiction. Some nice turns along the way and a lot of not nice ones.
It is hard to explain just what it bad about this, outside of just being super boring. The side romance plot was also weak, and the other best friend, he can just get out of this movie completely for all I care.
If you had to see a movie about signals, go see Contact.
1 out of 4.