The My Super Psycho Sweet 16 TV movie trilogy aside, Director Jacob Gentry has been slowly carving out credible genre movies that have been entertaining the On Demand platform audiences. His latest outing, Broadcast Signal Intrusion has tapped into the mainstream with its eerie psychological elements that has been likened to the works of Cronenberg the elder, notably Videodrome as both movies deal with underground conspiracies and the infiltration of what is now an aged medium, the video tape. The similarities end there however, as all due respect to Gentry, he ain’t Cronenberg and lacks the in-depth intelligence that the directing auteur brings to his work and the study of the human mind and the physical degradation/rehabilitation of our species with that of another entity.
Gentry is able to play a little on the psyche though, with this slow burner investigation into these mysterious and sinister pirate broadcasts that have infiltrated transmission stations. The trouble I found though is that the eerie and strange was set far better in Channel Zero’s Candle Cove. The masked presence in the videos does shock but fails to go deeper with the scares and flatlines with every other appearance. The 90s setting also helps to set the mood and provide an ample backdrop to the narrative, which sees video archivist James (Harry Shum Jr. – Crazy Rich Asians) driven by obsession to unearth the mystery behind these dissemations.
James himself, plagued by his past, seems set on this Sisyphus-like pursuit and is damned by the consequences. He is heeded numerous times by those he encounters along the way but is hellbent in ploughing ahead regardless.
There are some choice decisions that James makes along the way that does make the audience question why he is so insistent in finding the truth and some of the reason behind this is provided to a degree but like the plot, it’s thinly veiled and lacks substance. This is in essence, the movie’s achilles heel; not enough smoke to hide the plots and twists of intrigue. And thus it falls short and struggles to keep our attention.
There is promise here from Director Jacob Gentry, but the psychological horror is left wanting, content to skim across the surface without delving to the darkest depths.
There is enough to play with the senses only to be let down by a fairly straight forward conclusion followed by an odd twist component.
- Saul Muerte
Broadcast Signal Intrusion is available to own or rent from AppleTV, Microsoft Store and Google Play in Australia & NZ from March 30.