Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Do you have the crazy?

I'd wanted to see The Signal for some time. I didn't know too much about it aside from it looked, conceptually, a lot like Pulse. And, we all know how much I loved Pulse...

The Signal is a story about our electronics turning on us. Not in a Maximum Overdrive kind of way though. There's no clown trucks and no Emilio Estevez here. Instead, what we have is a signal that is transmitted through the tv, radio and phone systems. It's a signal that makes people crazy. And once they have the crazy, they start killing each other.

The movie is broken up into three segments (referred to as Transmissions). Each segment is it's own story. It's almost like three short films about the same event with the same characters. They even have different directors.

The first and third segments were very good and served to tell the story very well, but for my money, the middle segment was the best. It's also the lightest of them. The other two are much more serious, the first sets up the characters and what's going on, the third has to bring everything to a close, but in the middle there is some levity and humor. Everyone is starting to deal with the isanity of what's going on in the world. And it's very funny. The Signal isn't a comedy though. No more so than it is anything else. I guess by that I mean that it's not something that you'll find in the comedy section of your local video store.

The Signal is what Pulse should have been...really fucking good. In fact, it's only noticeable flaw, if it can be called that, is that it never makes any real effort to explain the origin of the signal itself. There's no what or why or how. All we see it that it's there and the results of it. The signal itself isn't the story though. And that it doesn't get explained is actually easily forgivable.