The Sig­nal

Tune in, wig out

SFX - - Cinema -

Re­lease Date: 27 March

15 | 97 min­utes Direc­tor: Wil­liam Eubank Cast: Bren­ton Th­waites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp, Lau­rence Fish­burne, Lin Shaye

Not to be con­fused with

the 2007 apoc­a­lyp­tic port­man­teau of the same name, writer/ direc­tor Wil­liam Eubank’s fol­low- up to Love does share cer­tain si­m­il­iar­i­ties. Like its name­sake, it feels like three dif­fer­ent films squished to­gether.

It be­gins as an im­pres­sion­is­tic road movie, segues into para­noid sci- fi, then morphs into some­thing com­pletely un­hinged. Nic ( Bren­ton Th­waites) and nerdy friend Jonah ( Beau Knapp) are driv­ing cross­coun­try to drop Nic’s girl­friend Ha­ley ( Olivia Cooke) at col­lege in Cal­i­for­nia. His de­gen­er­a­tive dis­ease is get­ting worse, so he’s push­ing her away; she thinks they’re split­ting up and can’t bear it. This story strand alone would be com­pelling enough to sus­tain most movies, but the trio are lured off course by a mys­te­ri­ous hacker called No­mad to a spooky shack in the desert.

The sec­ond part finds them quar­an­tined, with strange phys­i­cal ail­ments and Holo­caust- style num­bers on their bod­ies. They’re also be­ing mon­i­tored by un­seen forces from be­hind two- way glass…

The three leads give smart, sen­si­tive per­for­mances through­out the weird­ness that fol­lows, aided by David Lanzen­berg’s Ter­rence Mal­ick- alike cin­e­matog­ra­phy, and some ex­tra­or­di­nary prac­ti­cal ef­fects. But this is Eubank and his fel­low writ­ers’ call­ing card, and it slips so el­e­gantly from genre to genre that you never know where’ll they’ll take you next. Matt Glasby

“I am not get­ting a new t- shirt!”

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