Director: Jacob Gentry
Written by: Phil Drinkwater, Tim Woodall
Starring: Harry Shum Jr., Chris Sullivan, Steve Pringle, Justin Welborn and Kelley Mack,
Broadcast Signal Intrusion is a film that is all about atmosphere. The opening scene is disjointed and unsettling creating an oppressive and terror filled atmosphere right from the start. It’s a mystery thriller that appears to draw inspiration from Cronenberg’s Videodrome and De Palma’s Blowout. It has a great sense of paranoia that echoes throughout the film.
The story focuses around a series of three broadcast intrusions that happened in the late 1980s and mid 90s. Each intrusion featured a strange masked face woman and an assault of noise. They are creepy and unsettling and really get under your skin. James (Harry Shum Jr., Glee, Shadowhunters) lost his wife a couple of years ago and stumbles across the broadcast intrusion, becoming obsessed with trying to find out who created them and how it links with his wife’s disappearance.
From the opening the film is genuinely creepy. The intrusion clips of the strange masked woman with indecipherable words and harsh noises are haunting and something that will stay with you. There’s a growing sense of paranoia that adds to the terror, with the case being something the FBI had looked into and couldn’t solve and tension as James doesn’t know who to trust. He breaks his phone to stop people from listening to him.
There is a jazzy and abstract score, heavy with disjointed piano pieces. It’s used to create the overbearing atmosphere that makes everything so much more tense and keeps you heart rate elevated throughout. The film has many strange and surreal moments as it builds towards the climax, sadly, the final sequence doesn’t live up to the build-up. It brings up more questions than it answers and leaves a lot up to you to question yourself.
Harry Shum Jr. is great in the film. He’s frantic and obsessive in his search for the truth and completely believable in the role. It’s a very strong performance that carries pretty much the whole film. The whole cast is excellent, and James and Alice (Kelley Mack) work well together to piece together the puzzle.
It may feel similar in premise to other films, but Broadcast Signal Intrusion is completely its own thing. The story is fresh and original. The horror is slow and full of tension and the whole thing builds an atmosphere that so many horror films can only dream of building. It does feel slightly too long and is let down by the ending, but the journey to get there is one hell of a ride.