March 17, 2008
Recently while I was at the movies there was a trailer for a film called The Signal (2007) (IMDb), which appears to be about a pandemic of violence triggered by some sort of transmission over air waves -- another of many large-scale survival-horror films about an outbreak of either zombies, vampires, or a disease related cause -- following in the footsteps of films like 28 Days Later, the 'of the Dead series, 28 Weeks Later, and so on. But what probably sets The Signal apart from those films is that: A) its on an indie budget, and B) from what I've read, it tells the story in three separate parts, which might mean the story is told with a non-linear style similar to how the story in Pulp Fiction was told. Or it could just be about three different perspectives in a disaster scenario. (I usually prefer films like this of a smaller-scale where the frame of reference is from the perspective of an individual or a small group, such as: The Thing, the remake of 28 Days Later, I Am Legend, and The Mist.)
But as I was searching for information about this movie, there were two other films in production that caught my attention because they seemed very similar in concept -- being about pandemics of violence. The first of which is from M. Night Shyamalan (who directed The Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable, etc.) who has a film coming out this June, called The Happening (IMDb). There has been some speculation on forums and message boards that the violent pandemic in this film is a result of a toxin released by plants; so there might be some sort of environmental twist.
The second film I looked over that resembles The Signal is based on Stephen King's Cell (IMDb), due out sometime in 2009, directed by the guy behind the Hostel films. Based on King's novel (that predates The Signal) and seems to have a plot that thats nearly identical.