Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: It's New Year's Eve in the city of Terminus, and chaos is this year's resolution. All forms of communication have been jammed by an enigmatic signal that preys on the fears and desires of everyone in the city. Told in three parts from three unique perspectives by three visionary directors, The Signal is a horrific journey toward discovering that the most brutal monster might actually be within all of us. (Magnolia Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Jeremy Knox
    80
    If you’re tired of zombie films or rabid people films, Signal is like a cool drink of water on a hot day. It’s got all the goodness from the best of those genres while creating its own niche at the same time.
  2. 75
    It has a creepy power all its own.
  3. 75
    Unlike traditional zombie romps, these crazies don't stumble around mindlessly, noshing on human flesh. They look and act like normal people - until the second they go bonkers.
  4. 70
    Cagey low-budget horror flick.
  5. Mostly comes down to rage fiends going at one another with baseball bats, knives, pesticide tanks, and power drills.
  6. Just another low-budget effort from filmmakers who mistake cleverness for smarts.
  7. 38
    It doesn't take long for the The Signal's promising beginning to fade into a haze that leaves the viewer exhausted and irritated.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 5 out of 19
  1. Aug 14, 2011
    9
    The Signal is perhaps one of the best horror films to be released in recent years. It's highlighted by both its experimental nature and its frightening message, that the media will slowly drive us crazy. Well, not slowly, not in this movie. While watching television, making phone calls, and/or listening to the radio, the citizens of Terminus are susceptible to becoming violent raving lunatics thanks to a mysterious signal. It's reminiscent of body snatcher and zombie films, but there is an eerie sort of twist: those affected by the signal have no idea that anything is wrong with them. Instead, they view others as threats to their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. As one of the Affected states, "It's telling me what I should do, what I should want. I want my wife, and I want my home, and I want all you people to stop bothering us." Of course, this is first and foremost a horror film, and The Signal never gets too heavy-handed in the delivery of its message. It's actually quite scary and funny, and often at the same time. The film follows several characters through three loosely-connected chapters (called transmissions, each created by a different director) that vary wildly in delivery. The first transmission is arguably the best, crafting horror around uncertainty and building suspense with a surreal atmosphere. The second takes pitch black humor to the next level, yet also manages to include the film's single most disturbing scene. The third transmission turns the film into a psychological thriller about losing one's mind. Despite this, the film works; it feels like a whole (much more so, in fact, than many other films with just one director). Sure, there are shortcomings; two of the actors are not exactly good enough to carry the dialogue-heavy climax, which will lose some audience members, and the film's budget is apparent in several scenes. Of course, these are minor complaints when looking at the film as a whole. It's an excellent horror film that takes a jarring look at the messages of fear we receive from media sources almost every day: the outside world is a dangerous place, those whose views differ from ours are inherently an enemy of sorts, and we must do what we can to protect the ones we love. With this fear semi-constantly drilled into our minds, how long will it take for people to finally snap? Expand
  2. Feb 14, 2014
    6
    What a strange and unique movie this was. Something rare to see done. It certainly stands out enough to be interesting but in others ways can just feel like a repeat of films like "The Crazies". Expand

See all 19 User Reviews

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