The Signal (2007/I) • USA • David Bruckner, Dan Bush, Jacob Gentry

Lotsa fun. I didn't know this was going to be a very funny movie. It's got blood and more blood, a decapitated talking head, dead bodies everywhere, and kill scenes with realistic and unnerving sound effects that will make you wince. Those aren't the funny parts.

At times AJ Bowen seems to be channeling Bruce Campbell of Evil Dead fame. He even looks like him in certain moments. The Signal has a surreal, over-the-top sensibility like Evil Dead, but it's humor is not derived from that. This film is witty and subtle; the humor more cerebral than gut funny. Scott Poythress turns in a wonderfully comedic performance as the third wheel.

This is akin to Dead End and Five Across the Eyes in its humor. It's not a spoof or send-up. I think this is a new genre-crunch for horror. Smart, gory without being torture porn, and funny. It's a cult classic in the making because it makes fun with the genre, not of the genre. It drags a little at the end but it's been a full meal up to that point.


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