Reed Alexander's Horror Review of "The Signal" (2014)
Nilbog is goblin spelled backwards.
Laurence Fishburne, you try so damn hard, but there's just no carrying these shit films. I shouldn't be so harsh, this movie wasn't that bad, but it was entirely predictable. I should also say that the rest of the cast did a pretty good job too. Mr. Fishburne didn't carry the burden of this movie all by himself, but, unfortunately, even a great cast really didn't make up for such bad writing. I almost feel as though it's okay to get into the spoilers without warning because, honestly, if you aren't three steps ahead of the plot, at least... well, you're likely of the same cognitive capacity as half the people who voted for Trump. Spoiler alert, he won't keep any of his campaign promises, drain our economy and triple the deficit.
Anywho, this movie did a lot right. The dialogue was actually intense. There were exchanges between the male lead and Damon that were inspiring. The tension could suspend the Brooklyn Bridge. The atmosphere was spot on. Everything is just insane. Nothing seemed to make any sense and constantly had you on edge. It's pretty surreal. They start off the movie with shaky camera, but they don't use it too gratuitously and do away with it fairly quickly. There are a few scenes that come off as 'Gladiator moments.' They try to tie them in to the male lead's ever degenerating capacity to stand but they're still unnecessary artsy padding. The acting was particularly impressive for horror. That comes through in the earlier mentioned dialogue.
It's just that the plot and story feel like they're written by a fucking toddler... blarg. I guess it gets a pass. It's interesting enough to keep your attention and there are enough good things about the movie to keep watching.
It's Aliens. I knew it was Aliens when the male lead and his friend started talking about this hacker, "Nomad." It was the presentation. A hacker starts targeting two super intelligent computer geniuses and leaves a breadcrumb trail leading into the Nevada desert? It certainly ain't The Hills Have Eyes. I was waiting for the abduction scene basically ten minutes into the movie.
So, the group of three end up in a 'government facility' under observation. The people in the facility tell them that they're infectious and they need to be quarantined. First thing I did was turn to my wife and tell her that they were still on the alien ship and this was all an experiment. Now, mind you, this all turns into a total waste-of-my-fucking-time damsel in distress story. You see, the male lead and his hacker friends get really cool super powered robotic enhancements. The female lead gets to be in a fucking coma for half the movie, and for the rest of the movie is nothing more than a McGuffin with legs. Couldn't they give her some sort of super power too? That would have been cool.
But I digress. Yes, they were still on the alien spaceship. The male lead basically breaches the edge of their terrarium and sees the outside. You also discover that Damon is a robot. There also this scene where I fucking lost it: the male lead see's Damon's name on his uniform and screams out "NOMAD!" I immediately turned to my wife and said, "Nilbog is Goblin spelled backwards." If your movie gets compared to Troll 2 at any point, you done fucked up...
But yeah, this movie was okay.