If you’re looking for something new at the movie theater this weekend, want to avoid the cascade of sequels, and live in a place where it is playing, you might want to consider checking out William Eubank’s new sci-fi thriller The Signal. This is a dense, willfully dense piece of the genre that isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea (read our review HERE), but if you’re looking for something interesting and different, this is definitely worth checking out. The Signal gets a limited release starting today, and these three new clips from the film give you a good idea of what’s in store for your.
The story follows three MIT students on a road trip. After an incident at a remote Nevada farmhouse, Nic (Brenton Thwaites, The Giver) wakes up in an underground medical facility surrounded by guys in white biohazard suits. This is where the first clip picks up, when Nic, freshly roused from his sleep, comes to and encounters the mysterious Dr. Damon (Laurence Fishburne), and starts trying to piece together what actually happened.
As you can tell from the continuity, this second clip is basically a continuation of the first, but you start to get a sense of Nic’s growing frustration. He just woke up, can’t find his friends, and some overly calm doctor wearing a portable bubble keeps talking about his “condition.” That has to be all kinds of unnerving.
This last clip is the one that gives you a true feel for what to expect from The Signal. You get a full dose of the creepy atmosphere as Nic, with his comatose girlfriend Haley (Olivia Cooke, Bates Motel) in tow, try to escape from the underground facility. There are sinister, ominous forces in play here. At the same time, this scene also illustrates how the film works in a larger sense. We’re talking about a gradual, deliberate build up of tension, and every element goes into serving this endgame, and you are in no hurry to get anywhere.
If you’re looking for quick, easy answers, or to have everything spelled out for you, this is not the movie you’re looking for. The film is full of frustrating details and information without explanation, like when Damon refers to safeguarding Nic and Haley from “Them.” This style of obtuse mystery is everywhere, and while some viewers will dig that, it is going to drive others nuts. My point is, if you like what you see in this clip, give The Signal a chance, but if not, you’ll probably want to stay away.