Box art for The Signal

The Signal

  • Rated R

independent, special interest


A horror film told in three parts from three perspectives, in which a mysterious transmission which invades every cell phone, radio and TV, turning people into killers.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    57%
  • Audience Score
    58%

common sense

NOT FOR KIDS 0
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
5 out of 5

Bloody, hallucinatory horror movie isn't for kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this bloody horror movie is absolutely not for kids. It's packed with gruesome violence, weapons (gun, knife, garden shears, vehicles, poison), and repeated physical assaults by "crazed" TV viewers. Bodies are visible in building hallways and streets, there's a bloody decapitation, killers stagger like zombies, and there's lots of screaming and fleeing. Since the film doesn't have a specific perspective and frequently shifts between hallucinatory images, it can be physically difficult to watch. An early scene shows a naked male bottom and a woman in her underwear. Language includes frequent uses of "f--k" and other profanity.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about what the film is saying about violence and consumerism in media. Is it an effective message? Does the extremely violent context make it more or less successful? Can you think of other horror movies that try to make a serious point?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    57%
    reviews counted: 27
    see all The Signal reviews
  • Audience

    58%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Funny, terrifying and haunting all at once, this tripartite vision of postmodern alienation, societal breakdown and mental disintegration is as arresting as a baseball bat to the head - while still cutting to the heart.

- Anton Bitel, Eye for Film, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: It's definitely an interesting premise and the three filmmakers almost pull it off, but the last ten minutes were a bit of a disappointment to me.

- Austin Kennedy, Sin Magazine, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: In the end THE SIGNAL will burn it's transmission into your brain and leave you with an impression that will never go away. This is that film that leaves you with that special glow (yes, kind of like after sex), the smile that doesn't fade and the convers

- Brad Miska, Bloody Disgusting, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

A different film than I expected. More humor and drama, less gore. A different take on rage than I expected. Need to watch it again to really form a full opinion.

- Beefy, Saturday, June 14, 2008

2 stars

The Signal is a decent horror flick that had the potential of being a great film. The problem with this film is that it starts off promising enough, but halfway through it loses its strength, and becomes a decent flick. What could have been an effective horror flick is brought down by a weak second half. The film is watchable, but it could have been reworked a bit because there are some good ideas on-screen. The films cast do a pretty decent job here, and the plot is pretty interesting as well. The films faults lie in the second half of the film where it falls apart. I think it's a shame because this could have been a memorable horror flick with an effective plot. Unfortunately, The Signal leaves you wanting a bit more from the story, and as a horror film. This is a low-budget psycho Slasher film that almost gets it right. The script was good, but like I previously stated, if only there could have been a bit more effort put into the second half, it would have made The Signal a much more memorable ride. There are some elements that work well, but most of them don't quite get there. However you do see the potential of a very good horror film here, it's just too bad that some ideas fell flat. Overall a decent horror flick that is worth watching, but it leaves a lot to be desired as well. For a low-budget film, this is a decent try; if only the script would have been reworked a bit, then The Signal would have been a terrific film.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Friday, April 27, 2012

2 stars

One of those movies where things only occur because the script says so, with a total abandon of logic and plot. Sometimes seeing the signal makes you crazy...sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes people die from multiple blows to the head...sometimes they don't. Sometimes the entire world (or at least city) is consumed by the madness...other times people don't seem to understand that their is utter anarchy in the streets. Sometimes a canister of pesticide will make you blind, other times it just makes your eyes sting for a moment or two. Sometimes it's a comedy, sometimes its a drama and other times it's a horror flick. The constantly shifting perspective completely kills all attempts to build tension and the characters are all down right stupid. Why am I supposed to care about a bunch of adolescent adults acting like children? The female love interest in particular is the worst kind of heroine cliche. Now I will give the filmmakers props for making a movie that looks descent in 13 days for $50k, but SHAME on them for going forward with this script. The Signal could have been really good, but instead it just ends up becoming a crapticopia of tedious nonsense.

- kenstachnik, Friday, February 4, 2011