The Signal ★★

I was unaware of this 2014 film's very existence until seeing a friend at Letterboxd mention it a few days ago; and despite the consensus here that it's a pretty terrible movie, it intrigued me at least just enough to download it for free through BitTorrent and then watch it at 4X speed, so that I'd be out as little as possible in terms of time and money. And indeed, that turned out to be almost the exact perfect circumstances by which to watch it, a film that plays around with a couple of neat ideas, but that I would've been infuriated by if I had spent two hours waiting to get to them. A movie that feels like some studio executive saw Beyond the Black Rainbow at a party one night, then the next day asked during a pitch meeting with William Eubank, "Can you make me that but...you know, less hipster-faggy and weird?", The Signal is basically the halfwit's thinking-man movie, the kind that is likely to start an impressed suburban 16-year-old down the road to eventual much stranger and more indie stuff, but that will leave just about everyone else dissatisfied. Best to watch it with this view in mind, if you watch it at all.

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