The Signal movie Barrel~dEM
The Signal

I've been mainly writing about music at Barrel~dEM, or movies related to music, but I feel compelled to write about another movie tonight. That movie is The Signal. This movie, directed, and co-written by relative novice William Eubank is not his first attempt at directing, but might be his most ambitious to date. Without giving too much away, the movie is not what it seems and the inclusion of Laurence Fishburne as government agent Damon, might be a clue.

The movie begins with Nic (Brenton Thwaites), his girlfriend - Haley (Olivia Cooke), and Jonah (Beau Knapp) are heading west to drop off Haley at her school. Nic has had an accident that has left him with not much ability to use his legs and he gets around with crutches. He and Jonah, who are hackers from MIT, have been tracing a signal from another hacker - NOMAD, who initially infiltrated their servers as well as others at MIT. NOMAD has been showing his skills by tracking and sharing the fact that he knows every move and even sends pictures along the way ... which makes Nic and Jonah determined to track him down. They detour their trip to head to a remote address, which they have traced via IP Address to investigate. While exploring an empty house, they hear Haley, who had remained in the car, screaming. When they go out to investigate, they look for Haley by flashlight finally seeing that it appears that she is lifted into the air. After a few seconds, the are also abducted as the screen goes white.

Nic awakens in some sort of medical facility dressed in a hospital gown. The facility is manned by men in full space suits. Nic is brought before Damon, who explains that he is there for quarantine and recovery after being abducted by an EBE (extraterrestrial biological entity). Nic is now in a wheelchair and after he finds Haley - he quickly makes plans to escape. After one attempt, he is locked in a room with Haley only to discover that his legs have been replaced with some sort of robotic technology. Now that he can walk, his second attempt to leave the facility is successful - it's almost if they don't want to stop him. Above ground, the two find themselves in a surreal desert setting. Could they be at Area 51? I don't want to reveal anymore for fear of giving away spoilers.

The film marks an ambitious effort, for the director, in an effort to raise the bar for a new standard of sci-fi movies. It had moments of some of the great iconic scenes from such movies as the classic anime - Akira to District 9. If you are a fan of the genre, check it out.

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