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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Movie Review - The Signal

The Signal (2014)
Starring Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp, Lin Shaye, and Laurence Fishburne
Directed by William Eubank

Nic, his girlfriend Haley, and his best friend Jonah (Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, and Beau Knapp) are traveling cross-country to take Haley to college.  Nic and Jonah are MIT students who are admitted computer nerds, both of whom are irritated when a hacker successfully breaks into MIT's student database, stole a bunch of data, and nearly placed all the blame on the two friends.  When they discover that the origin site of the hacker's computer appears to be on their route in a town in Nevada, Nic and Jonah want to check it out and confront the guy who nearly got them expelled.  However, the location of the computer is an abandoned old house and upon exiting, all three youngsters are greeted with a phenomenally bright light and immediately lose consciousness.  Upon waking up, a researcher in a HAZMAT suit (Laurence Fisburne) informs Nic that they believe he and his friends have been in contact with an extraterrestrial life form and their current quarantine situation is for their safety as well as the entire planet's.  What in the world happened in that abandoned house?

While the premise of The Signal is certainly intriguing, director and co-screenwriter William Eubank has crafted a film that looks really good (and surprisingly expensive given what I must assume was a relatively low budget), but lacks any real substance.  His eye for images is impressive, but Eubank's film drags.  There's not enough here to warrant a feature and a few inconsistencies in the story make the climax feel a bit too far-fetched.  The three younger actors are all charismatic enough to carry their scenes, but overall there's just not enough positive here to place this in the recommendation column.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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