Monday, July 29, 2013

The Signal (2007) ★★★★★



Plot:

Mya, a married young woman, and her lover Ben, are awoken by the television as it switched itself on, displaying psychedelic images. Mya then rushes back to the apartment she shares with Lewis, her overly possessive and violent husband. While 2 friends of Lewis are there, trying to fix the TV which displays the same unfathomable images as Mya saw earlier, Lewis beats one of them to death with a baseball bat. Soon, it's clear that all of the city has fallen into a murderous psychosis.

My verdict:

The 2 strongest points of The Signal are the dive into madness and the metaphor of the story. Why a dive into madness? Because it puts the spectator inside the head of one of the psycho killers. As for the metaphor, it is quite reminiscent of the metaphor embodied in the movie "The ring" (the brilliant original Japanese movie, not the inept bland American remake!). This is a parable about our submission to the madness and emotions evoked in ourselves by the media. Undoubtedly, the metaphor is less subtle in The Signal than it is in The Ring, but it is then more readable, more accessible to a wider audience. The tension rises very quickly and never goes down, keeping us hooked from beginning to end. The point of view of the psycho killer is truly original and while events themselves are not credible, the state of mind of the main character is coherent and we buy into it. Though the grain of the image looks kinda cheap, kinda like many modest English productions, I award a full 5 stars to The Signal. You don't often get decent narrative and suspense together like you do with this film.

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