Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Signal

Transmission I: Crazy In Love: 7/10

First of all, kudos to the filmmakers for finally giving Julian Sark, Chief Tyrol, and young Catherine Willows their first big-screen roles, effectively enhancing the premise of the television projecting a distorted version of reality.

This film is also to be praised as it is as anti-commercial as it can get (as evident by its introduction with pointless, non-sexual nudity), condemning subliminal advertising and subtext on-screen, also further enhanced by its cuttingly direct dialogue with idiot-proof lines like "Do you have the crazy?" and "You're not my husband. You're a homicidal maniac."

Transmission II: The Jealousy Monster: 5/10
Then in the second segment, there's a sudden shift in tone from horror to black comedy, which satirizes that much-deserving subset of people called psycho killers, poking fun of undesirable traits like dementia, rage, adultery, and jealousy and showing off how clever they are for doing so, because, God knows, it's about time someone enlightened the world of the undesirability of murder and insanity.

Unfortunately, in their mission of conveying their social message, they also forgot to bring the funny, but that can be forgiven. It's the endearingly incompetent attempt that counts.

Transmission III: Escape From Terminus: 4/10
And then, suddenly, the party ceased and the title screen came on again, prompting me to wait excitedly for the next clever take on the generic horror genre that never arrives.

Instead, the film reverts back to its original tone, making it appear as if the second segment was made to be wildly different only when the filmmakers realized how ridiculous their premise and plot elements were that they chose to override it by making it laughable. This way, instead of us laughing at their movie, they laugh at it with us.

Apparently, some people seemed to think this section was a mystery-love story, and I guess it's true because it's a mystery as to where the mystery is, and a love story, as evident by the message that love (maybe, vaguely, not surely, ambiguously) conquers maniacs, blood, injury, rationality, reality, and (maybe) aliens.

The Signal: 5/10

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