Writer-director William Eubank always wanted to make a film that turned audiences on their heads, and he’s done that with ‘The Signal,’ a film which, on the surface, sees a trio of teens chasing down a hacker but are forever changed by what they encounter. While moviegoers will surely be left with just as many questions leaving the theater as they had coming in, the intricacies of this mind-bender are not something Eubank would like to discuss – at least not yet – as he has plans, however far back in his mind for the moment, of exploring these answers in ‘The Signal 2.’
Everything we've seen so far from the new thriller 'The Signal' merely grazes the surface of what's in store for audiences. The trailers and few brief clips that have been released show a trio of young kids -- Nic (up-and-comer Brenton Thwaites...
One might exit the theater after seeing 'The Signal' and feel compelled to run down a list of its seeming influences. 'Chronicle,' 'Dark City,' 'The Island' and John Byrne's acclaimed 'Next Men' comic of the early 1990s all spring to mind, not to mention scores of movies where a bunch of teens foolishly go somewhere dangerous and isolated when logic says they should turn around and run. But in the thick of it, William Eubank's low-budget sci-fi/horror/thriller is so focused on keeping you in the dark (despite its bright white walls) that these influences don't seem so obvious. The simplicity and elliptical nature of the script and the empathy from the actors (namely relative newcomer Brenton Thwaites) sustains this crafty and modestly budgeted film's hook. You kinda sorta know what's going on from the start, but the movie is sharp enough to toy with you, making it a good deal of fun.
If you watch Focus Features' 'The Signal' trailer hoping to find out exactly what the movie is about, you're probably in for a bit of a surprise. Although this is clearly a science-fiction thriller full of all kinds of creepy and gory alien imagery, the trailer puts tone first and foremost. And you know what? We're sold on the tone.