The Signal: stylised, low-budget sci-fi

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The Signal: stylised, low-budget sci-fi

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‘The Signal’ is American indie director William Eubank’s latest feature and took just 27 days to shoot.

It’s the story of two MIT freshmen with a passion for hacking who travel through Nevada with a girlfriend to follow a rival hacker. After a terrifying confrontation in the desert, the trio regain consciousness in captivity.

Starring A-list actor Laurence Fishburne, best known for his role as Morpheus in the ‘Matrix’ trilogy, the film is not your run-of-the-mill sci-fi says Eubank.

“I just tell people it’s a pretty wild ride. And when you get into it, it’s maybe not what you expect. There’s levels to it. (…) But I also want there to be things that people can get in and grin at and have fun with and be like ‘Oh my God’. Keep it a wild ride. So you can take what you want from it. To talk about it… I’m a big fan of not giving away things. I just try to say, ‘Hey, check it out’,” says the young director.

Shooting on a modest budget of just three million dollars, Eubank has successfully created a highly stylised movie, with the help of his talented technical team.

Up-and-coming US actor Beau Knapp plays one of the hackers, and says the role took some preparation: “I never really knew much about hackers until I started researching the role. I was more like play in the dirt and try to read books – Kerouac and Hemingway and stuff. But as I was saying before – me and technology aren’t too good,” he says.

‘The Signal’ has opened to mixed reviews. While critics appreciate its cinematography and low-budget ingenuity, some deplore the fact that “the film’s visuals outshine the story”, calling it "exceedingly stylish and ultimately quite silly".

After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, William Eubank’s sophomore feature ‘The Signal’ is out in the US and Canada.

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