The dullest of se­rial killers

Los Angeles Times - - AT THE MOVIES - — Kim­ber My­ers

See­ing Neil Mar­shall’s name in the open­ing cred­its of a hor­ror film should spark delight in genre fans’ gorelov­ing hearts, but it brings only dis­ap­point­ment in “Dark Sig­nal.” The “De­scent” and “Dog Sol­diers” di­rec­tor serves as ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer here, but there’s lit­tle of the en­ergy he’s known for in di­rec­tor Ed­ward Ever­sSwindell’s dull, poorly struc­tured movie.

A masked se­rial killer strikes in Snow­do­nia, Wales, tar­get­ing young women and cut­ting off their ring fin­gers. Mean­while, lo­cal ra­dio DJ Lau­rie Wolf (Si­wan Mor­ris) and her en­gi­neer, Ben (Gareth David-Lloyd), are broad­cast­ing their fi­nal show when they be­gin to pick up the cries of a mur­dered woman via EVP (Elec­tronic Voice Phe­nom­e­non).

Nearby, sin­gle mother Kate (Joanna Ig­naczewska) waits for her boyfriend to re­turn to her car on a quiet coun­try road when mys­te­ri­ous hap­pen­ings be­gin to haunt her. Th­ese mul­ti­ple nar­ra­tive threads are loosely tied to­gether, united largely by a lack of logic or sym­pa­thetic char­ac­ters in any of them.

Evers-Swindell, who cowrote with Antony Jones, clearly has af­fec­tion for the genre. “Dark Sig­nal” gives nods to Ital­ian gi­allo and ’80s Amer­i­can slash­ers, while still feel­ing like a prod­uct of Wales and the U.K. How­ever, it creeps along with­out pro­vid­ing ei­ther scares or an un­set­tling mood. In­stead, it’s punc­tu­ated by brief mo­ments of vi­o­lence; if you’ve ever been cu­ri­ous about the sound a head would make when be­ing crushed by a shovel, this is the movie for you. “Dark Sig­nal.” Not rated. Run­ning time: 1 hour, 38 min­utes. Play­ing: Arena Cinelounge Santa Mon­ica.

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