If someone would ask me, what do i prefer between box office blockbusters, or independent films, the choice is very easy. Independent films ( for the most part ) have much more interesting stories to tell, no matter how low budget the films are made of. Really talented directors don´t need a lot of money to make good motion pictures. What you need is a good story and great acting, with these 2 details combined, you can defeat most of the box office hits. Fot those of you who saw Nebraska earlier this year, that was a perfect example of how you make really good film making, on a very limited budget. One of my personal favourite independent films of all time is Buffalo´66, with a briliant Vincent Gallo in the lead role, and as the director of the film. This is a masterpiece, if you have not seen it, buy it, everyone should own a dvd of Buffalo´66. The Signal is a new independent sci fi thriller film, that got positive reactions at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. I did not notice it until i stumbled across some reviews of The Signal, that got me curious to see what this is. Director William Eubank used to work as a cinematographer on different films, until he directed his debut feature film Love, released in 2011. A sci-fi drama, with music from alternative rock band Angels & Airwaves. I have not seen his first motion picture, so i can´t give any opinion. The Signal seem to stay in the sci fi genre, as his previous film Love. One surprise is that we have Laurence Fishburne in the cast, and Olivia Cook, who we could see earlier this year in the british horror film The Quiet Ones. Is this sci fi independent film that should be seen by a wider audience, or is this a film that most people will forget ?
MIT students Nic Eastman ( Brenton Thwaites ), Jonah Breck ( Beau Knapp ) and Haley Peterson ( Olivia Cook ) are on a road trip together, on their way to California. Jonah discover in a hotel, that a hacker called NOMAD, have located them. Earlier both Nic and Jonah were almost expelled for breaking into MIT servers. They decide to track down NOMAD, since this is on the way to California and confront the person. As they arrive in a desert area, something strange is happening. Nic wakes up in a secret base, where he is locked inside as if he was contagious. He is confronted by Dr. Wallace Damon ( Laurence Fishburne ), who try and explain what have happened, and why he is here. Dr. Wallace show Nic a picture, of what he might have encountered, an alien life form. Nic is shocked, and insist that he needs to see his friends Jonah and Haley. No one will really explain why he is hold locked up, but Nic decide he needs to try and escape, he have done nothing wrong. Once he discovers what might have happened the night he encounted the alien life form, everything is about to change.
The Signal is not like anything i have seen lately. And that is a good sign, because we need original stories these days when Hollywood studios are desperate to have a hit at the box office. We have seen plenty of alien encounter motion pictures in the past, but The Signal tries to avoid the usual chliché, and find a different path. Some elements have been used before, like in a scene where we get to see what is belived to be an alien life form. Somehow director Willam Eubank still manage to keep the story fascinating, using some really easy details. If you are hoping for explosions, big guns, and space ships, you are not going to be pleased with The Signal. To be honest, i feel that this is just what we needed in the sci fi genre, a very intelligent story with some classic ingredients, combined clever enough not to be revealing. Lead actor Brenton Thwaites ( who can be seen in both Oculus and Maleficent ), may have done his best performance in a motion picture so far, and he is only 25 years old. I am looking forward to see if he choose some more interesting film projects in the future. Laurence Fishburne does a performance that we are used to see, but he is still good in the moments that we see him on screen. Director William Eubank show us why he is one of the better sci fi directors in these days, he have a passion for this genre, and you can tell that by the way he structure the plot. The Signal never got a cinema release around Europe, and i feel that was a mistake. This should have been seen by a larger audience, because we don´t get many intelligent sci fi films in these days. Support great film making, buy The Signal, this is much better than i actually expected.