Broadcast Signal Intrusion (2021) Movie
A disappointing conclusion ruins this unnerving and tense thriller
The film was released in 1999, a time where Blockbusters was still accessible to the public, and VHS tapes were being sold, Broadcast Signal Intrusion is the tale of James an 18-year-old man who lost his wife several years earlier.
We’re not sure of the fate of his wife, but her disappearance is the trigger for the obsession that afflicts him throughout this suspenseful and intriguing thriller.
James His job includes cataloging video cassettes from old TV shows which will delight anyone who is a fan of old (and not as classic) TV shows. However, when he learns that one broadcast signal has been hacked into (interference in the broadcast signals) and a disturbing video and he’s thrown in a demon that is overwhelming for James.
James believes that the hacker who broadcasts is responsible for the disappearance of several women who disappeared in the 1980s. James believes that this is because the footage has images of mysteriously-masked women who might have been the victims of abduction. In his pursuit to determine the real reason behind these pirated broadcasts, he discovers other types of videos that contain women wearing masks and uncovers a variety of connections to women who disappeared 10 years ago.
It is possible that James believes that the tapes contain clues regarding his missing wife however, this isn’t explicitly pointed out during the film’s run. It could be the case that he becomes involved in the investigation (without giving it to the police) as a way to manage the grief he feels. Whatever the situation may have been, while he sifts through the maze of pirated video as well as stolen television signals as do we, there’s a genuine feeling of terror as he is nearer to the real truth.
This isn’t the only occasion that the director Jacob Gentry has delivered a frightening film about mysterious transmissions. He had previously made the film The Signal, a 2007 film about people who transformed into murderers by the signal emanating through their cell phones and televisions.
This horror story was frightening and this can be said for the Broadcast Signal Intrusiondue to Gentry’s ability at shocking us with the horrifying images and the disturbing sound effects that appear in the pirated footage.
However, the film isn’t as well-crafted as it could be. The film has a subplot involving the character Alice who, out of a sense of pleasure, decides to pursue James as he completes his task. He then joins her in his search as she has the expertise in research that James must master to unravel the case. Her role in the story is intriguing however when she vanishes without any explanation, things become slightly unclear.
Another problem is the conclusion of the film. Prior to the conclusion, the film has an end to the story in which James discovers the reason behind the disappearance of women and the intrusions of the signal. If the story had ended at that point it could have been more satisfying.
In reality, the film follows James when his work has been completed and ends with an epilogue that makes no sense. The abstraction of the epilogue to the film is quite a bit confusing, even though it could be that it is a different problem to be solved.
Although I have my doubts regarding the plot of the film, however, there’s plenty to enjoy with the jazzy soundtrack to the dedicated performance by Harry Shum Jr. ( Love Hard) who plays as an obsessive individual who attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding the affected video tapes. As James embarks on a quest to find an answer, the story is really intriguing and the overall sense of danger that is present throughout will frighten our senses.
It’s a pity the story of the film Broadcast Signal Intrusion concludes in the manner it does. However, despite the odd conclusion, it’s not completely boring. If you’re an avid collector of the video technology of the 1990s or know about the hacking technique which is the basis of this bizarre story it’s likely that you’ll learn lots of value from this. It’s also a good film if was arguing with friends about the benefits in Betamax over VHS since there’s an equivocal reference to that long-running debate in this film.
In the end, there’s plenty of positive in this film, even with the confusing conclusion, so if are a subscriber to Shudder subscriber, you may like following James through to the bottom of the tunnel. Be sure to take yourself off at the end, or else you could become the same way as James is about his broadcasting intrusions!
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