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BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION: A Nearly-There Noir Thriller

A video archivist in the late 90s happens upon deeply disturbing videos that have no explanation. Consumed by the mystery, he starts to suspect that they may be more sinister than a simple prank, including a possible link to his missing wife. Starring Harry Shum Jr., Kelley Mack, and Chris Sullivan, Broadcast Signal Intrusion has a great neo-noir style and an alluring concept that takes hold of you, but it doesn’t quite reach its full potential.

Directed by Jacob Gentry, this techno-thriller takes inspiration from real life broadcast intrusions from the 80s. These unsettling videos our protagonist discovers are really effective and the mystery surrounding them is of course even scarier. The videos are very similar to the “I Feel Fantastic” video, which was an ultra creepy upload to YouTube in 2009, and the film really captures the frightening ambiguity of them.

The story plays as an old school detective movie and Shum Jr. delivers a compelling performance of a man whose grief pushes him to become this amateur sleuth. What sells this aspect even further is the score, which really gives it a retro film noir feel. This stylistic choice combined with the 90s setting is really enticing and it all just heightens the mystery.

With such an intriguing plot that takes many turns, it was disappointing when the pacing slowed towards the end of the second act. As it starts to pick back up in the third, it then ends somewhat abruptly. It felt like there was something missing, that it was holding back in some way.

While I enjoyed the film on a somewhat surface level, it felt that there was a disconnect two-thirds the way through, ending with some things left unresolved; missing the mark in terms of leaving the viewer with anything to take away.


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