The Signal is one hell of an experience. It’s more than just sitting there in a stupor and watching another spoon fed, cliched, predictable action-suspense sci-fi mega blockbuster. You don’t have the government whipping out their big guns to defeat the alien impostors and there’s no “we need your resources spiel”. You won’t see any pretty scientists looking for clues in equations to save the earth, and thankfully thankfully thankfully, no one-liners. It’s a film that doesn’t have to rely on any of those things to remain intriguing.
The story follows three MIT students, Nic, Jonah, and Haley who decide to seek out a mysterious hacker who is responsible for nearly getting them expelled for breaking into the MIT servers. With luck, they are successful at tracking the hacker down to a mobile home in a remote south western desert location. Once they reach the mobile home they decide to scope it out to see what they can find, but Haley decides to stay in the car. While inside, Nic and Jonah search through rooms and get curious as to what’s in the basement when they hear Haley screaming outside. Her screams get louder and louder as the two friends run outside to find out what’s happening to her. When they reach the door they see Haley being levitated off the ground and they black out.
When Nic wakes up the real confusion begins. He wakes up in a top secret underground research facility, and he’s battered and bruised. Laurence Fishburne enters as a doctor who needs to ask him a few questions about the events that took place but Nic isn’t complacent because he’s confused, frightened, and worried about Jonah and Haley. I don’t want to give much more away but you’d have to see the movie to be able to appreciate the way the characters play off one another. The story is unique, the actors anguish is believable, and I really don’t feel as though it was over the top or as I’ve heard other critics say “too ambitious”. For me, the film kind of reignited the flame of the Sci-fi genre, and it made me proud of the film makers for releasing something that I’m sure they knew wouldn’t really appeal to the masses. If you want to watch something that’s going to toy with your mind a bit I suggest watching The Signal (2014).