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The Signal
BLU-RAY disk
Jul 14, 2008 By: Sturdy
The Signal order
Director:
Jacob Gentry, David Bruckner, Dan Bush

Actors:
AJ Bowen
Anessa Ramsey
Justin Welborn

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A strange communications signal has inhabited all television, radio and phone frequencies. Prolonged exposure to the signal has created a city of frightened, psychotic citizens that cant distinguish between right and wrong.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
When you watch a film as good as THE SIGNAL, it makes you hate the lame, run-of-the-mill Hollywood horror films even more. This was a refreshing break from what we normally have to suffer through and featured a good idea, great gags and enough thrills to keep you entertained throughout. THE SIGNAL is a fun ride and made for one heck of a good time.

The film is broken up into three acts, each with a very different feel to it. The first starts as a drama/love story of sorts and establishes the three main characters and their love triangle. The scares are still there, but theyre more subtle and intense than in the subsequent acts. The first part is my favorite and I think it would have worked great if they had kept it like that the rest of the film.

The second act is more SHAUN OF THE DEAD than the other two. It has some horror effects in it, but it doesnt take itself seriously and has more comedy than the other two. Finally, the third act wraps everything up and just serves as the conclusion to the action and drama. The third act attempts to provide more of an existential meaning to the film, but doesnt really have enough time to develop those ideas. All of the acts could have been quality feature length films had they been fully explored, especially the first act. As it were, I still enjoyed the film as a whole and appreciated the three horror types being combined into one campaign.

I cant say enough positive things about the acting and directing in the film. Even though the cast is made up of unknowns, they ran circles around some of the more popular Hollywood actors working today. Their performances drove the story and had me convinced the terror they were experiencing was real and impending. The directing was also top-notch with just enough horror and gore being shown, but not so much it turned into a slasher film.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with David Bruckner, Jacob Gentry and Dan Bush: I loved the way they did this commentary. They kicked out the actual director of the segment while the other two talked about it. Since they all worked on each segment, it made for a cool, informative commentary. These guys were great and were non-stop with the facts and cool tidbits.

The Signal (8:20:24): You read that right8 hours of the signal. Admittedly, I didnt sit through all 8 hours of the signal to see if theyd surprise us with something. After about 1 minute of watching, I was ready to kill someone.

The Singal Breakdown (4:26): This is just a mini version of the making-of featurette that we see later on. It was ok for a quick rundown, but it didnt provide anything that wasnt covered in another feature.

Deleted Scenes (6:21): Well, one of these is deleted while the other is a quick alternate clip. The deleted scene is fun because it involves a run-in with a kid, which we didnt get with the film. The alternate scene wouldnt have had much of an impact one way or the other.

Inside Terminus: Making of the Signal (15:04): They briefly dive into the challenges they faced with having three directors and some of the tricks they used to save money. They get a little too existential while trying to explain what the film means, but its a decent making-of featurette.

Transmissions (12:35): These were really great additions to the Blu-ray. Basically, theyre deleted scenes in the form of webisodes. Because of budgetary constraints, they werent able to show various parts of Terminus the way they wanted, so they made these three short clips to show how other citizens reacted to the signal. I enjoyed the family that heard the signal in the car.

Hap Hapgood Story (10:02): This is the full version of the short film they showed in the beginning of the film. For a ten minute film, its pretty creepy, but worked really well to set up the film. Its nice to see included on the disc, but its not something Id watch again.

There are also some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This film surprised me on all levels and is one Ill recommend to my friends. It felt incomplete at times given the differences between the three acts, but overall it should make for a good time. Also, given the re-watchability factor and special features, I think youd be safe with a purchase.
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