Take a Drink: every time characters refer to NOMAD.
Take a Drink: every time Nic breaks down on screen.
Take a Drink: every time Nic is told to calm down.
Do a Shot: for NERD RAGE.
By: Frankie B. (A Toast) –
My only exposure to The Signal prior to seeing it were a few creepy looking teaser trailers. No spoilers were in the trailers and I had pretty much no idea what the movie was really about going into it. I knew Laurence Fishburne was in it, so I was sold from there. All I know is that I really wanted to know what the fuck was going on and was rabidly awaiting its release.
The Signal follows Nic (Brenton Thwaites), Jonah (Beau Knapp), and Haley (Olivia Cooke) as they journey cross-country to drop off Haley at Caltech. Nic and Jonah have been going head to head with a hacker named NOMAD, and were almost expelled from MIT as a result. On their trip across the country they are taunted by NOMAD and eventually track down his location. Nic and Jonah go to confront NOMAD and the result of the encounter alters their lives in ways they could never have imagined.
Have you ever seen a movie that makes you want to immediately rewatch it? Well, this is one of the only movies that I have ever watched that made me want to, the others being The Matrix and The Thing. This movie is like a freight train, slow to start but once it gets going it is nearly impossible to stop. The story is in the same realm of quality as The Matrix. I hope that gives you an idea of the high esteem I place on this movie. I am going to try to keep this as spoiler-free as I can, as releasing any plot details could derail the experience.
VOD movies aren’t usually the cream of the crop and there is usually a glaring reason that they were essentially abandoned by their respective studios. I couldn’t really find a reason why The Signal wasn’t given a theatrical release. There are very few science fiction movies that can go toe to toe with it in terms of overall quality. Casting was spot on and the effects are incredible given the limited budget. The movie is deeper than 99% of movies that are released in theaters, but people may have a hard time understanding everything that the movie is throwing at you, or I may be looking too far into things.
I think Hollywood has come to a consensus that Brenton Thwaites is the next big thing. He’s starring in a bunch of big budget productions over the next couple of years, and I really hope that he continues to build on his performance in The Signal. The guy straight up killed it in this movie and is captivating in every scene that he is in. His character is flawed both emotionally and physically, but has a never-ending drive that carries him throughout the movie. The movie is placed on his back from the start and he carries it easily to the end.
The most important thing about this movie is that it is taking chances. Most sci-fi movies made today lay everything on the table at the outset and are about big action set pieces and brainless characters. Do not treat this like VOD trash, take a chance and see this movie.
95% of the movie is great, but the twists in the movie are a little wonky. Only gripe with the movie.
One of the most underrated movies of 2014 due to be relegated to VOD-land. Check this out if you are looking for something original. Slow burn with a huge payoff at the end.