Coming out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, William Eubanks’ indie sci-fi thriller The Signal was riding a big wave of positive buzz. Those of us who weren’t there got to see a fraction of what all of the hullabaloo is about when the first trailer dropped into our laps a few weeks ago. There was also an accompanying poster, but that apparently wasn’t enough, so the film is back with another slick one sheet.
This image follows a similar pattern as the last, with a sterile, white design theme, some guys in sinister looking hazmat suits—but aren’t all hazmat suits creepy looking—and the tagline “R U Agitated?” The poster itself is pretty cool looking, and fits in with the ominous nature of the trailer and all the other marketing for The Signal, but that slogan has got to go.
The official website for The Signal is also www.ruagitated.com, and, as far as I can tell, no matter what you do, what you enter into the it, it just asks you if you are, in fact, agitated. Over and over again. And you know what, it’s pretty agitating, so yes, after a while I could only answer yes, I am agitated, bro.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Three college students on a road trip across the Southwest experience a detour: the tracking of a computer genius who has already hacked into MIT and exposed security faults. The trio find themselves drawn to an isolated area. Suddenly everything goes dark. When one of the students, Nic (Brenton Thwaites of The Giver and Maleficent), regains consciousness, he is in a waking nightmare…
Despite a limited budget, The Signal looks big and sweeping. Every year we get at least a few smaller sci-fi movies that have to rely on ideas and ingenuity to get their point across instead of leaning on computer generated special effects and enormous set pieces, and this looks like our first entry for 2014. This description is purposely vague, and the trailer offers more questions than answers, but we’re definitely intrigued enough to add this to our list of movies we really, really want to see.
The Signal opens up for a limited run on June 13. Hopefully it strikes a chord with audiences and will expand after that, but we’ll have to wait and see. You can’t help but think it may be a little too esoteric for wide mainstream appeal, but who knows, stranger things have happen.