The Signal” is a weird ride.  It’s a gory horror movie lacking plentiful scares and, in its stead, substituting a quirky playfulness about the dire situation.

The story seems like a straightforward scary flick – an end-of-the-world disaster scenario, where the lovers escape amidst slaughter and sprinkling blood.  This is not really what you get, though.  With a dark humor, the story detours deeper into the psychotic world of the crazed killers.

The Plot Goes Haywire

This is how the story goes – a signal comes over televisions, radios and other transmitting devices.  It’s a psychedelic, colorful, moving static across the screen with a technological, unpredictable sound.  Everyone who experiences the signal has a hidden switch turned on in their brain, a primal urge to kill and conquer.

One of the main characters, a controlling husband suspecting his wife of cheating, is afflicted by the static and sounds and hunts down his runaway wife, to possibly kill her.  As he is exposed even more to this signal, he enters an alternate state of mind, talking to himself and seeing his wife’s face everywhere.

The movie turns very odd when he walks into a long scene with a strange pair: a perky perfectionist who killed her crazed husband during the events but continues to obsessively plan her New Year’s party as if the day is like any other, and her helpful, jolly landlord who copes with throwing out everyday politeness and personal virtues in the name of survival.  As the woman blows up balloons, serves cocktails and imagines dancing with her dead husband, it seems we’ve officially entered a crazy world and may have accidentally started watching another movie (this is where the out-of-place dark humor arrives, almost like an intermission).

The plot becomes even harder to follow as we realize that the characters increasingly hallucinate, making it difficult to determine what’s real.  One moment, we see a man’s skull bashed in and cracked open, then we see him get up without injury.

Enjoy The Crazy Ride

It may not be seamless, but I have to admit, the oddball humor and hallucinations kept me watching so I could figure out where it was all going.  And I’m still not sure, though.

We don’t know what the signal is, who sent it or why, and we don’t know what happens after the lovers reunite, both fully exposed to the signal and losing their minds.

But then again, we never really get to know a lot about the characters.  Like a casual date, it’s all thrills and chills, not intimate and open.  So, without this investment in our relationship with the characters, it’s okay not knowing what happens to them afterwards.

“The Signal” is like an unusual theme park ride where you drift through dirty water into a plastic cave and watch animatronic creatures move around – you ride, you have fun, you get off, and you move on to the next ride.  It’s a good watch if you’re looking for something new on Netflix, nothing more.

The Signal Trailer (U.S. trailer: The Signal)

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