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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Signal


Starring: A. J. Bowen, Anessa Ramsey and Justin Welborn
Optimum Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 06 April 2009

It's New Year's Eve in the city of Terminus. A young woman is at her lover's apartment when a powerful audio-visual signal comes through on the TV and phone. When she returns home it is to find that her violent husband has 'friends' around. He becomes progressively more enraged and sadistic over mere moments, culminating in him brutally battering one of his friends to death. The woman escapes the apartment, only to run into additional peril. Out in the corridor, and indeed the streets, the majority of people have been turned into crazed barbarians by the signal, which taps into fear and desire - a brainwashing which releases their hold on reality. Meanwhile, her lover Ben is searching for her, but clashes with her husband in a desperate showdown...

The first and most important thing I should mention about this film is that it contains a great deal of flashing imagery. So anybody who suffers from migraines or epilepsy should avoid it like the plague.

The story is told in three interconnecting segments, handled by separate directors, each with their own slant or feel for the plot and characters. Originally, the plan was for one director to film the first third, before passing the baton to the second to take the tale in the direction he wanted, and for the third to make-up his own conclusion. But in the end they decided to write the screenplay between them. It's the less exciting option, because what The Signal amounts to is another populace-gone-mad scenario which has been done a million times before.

It's difficult to pin down the genre; it's not out and out horror, but there's certainly elements of it, along with science fiction, thriller and romantic suspense, with a hint of gangland violence. Also, there's no explanation for the signal itself, and no way of knowing if it is only city-wide or further afield.

Extras include a directors' commentary, deleted scenes, featurettes, webepisodes, and a short film.


Ty Power

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