'The Signal," a three-part horror movie directed by a trio of Atlanta filmmakers, is set during the collapse of Terminus, a fictional city whose residents are driven to rage by a mysterious signal that jams televisions and phones.
Part 1, directed by David Bruckner, follows an adulterous wife, Mya (Anessa Ramsey), as she leaves her lover, Ben (Justin Welborn), and returns to her jealous husband, Lewis (A.J. Bowen). It happens to be the night the signal turns her apartment building into a charnel house.
This section is superb, with affecting performances and a sense of dread reminiscent of John Carpenter's "Prince of Darkness." Among its many striking images: Mya blasting music on her headphones to shut out the chaos; a murder reflected in a car's side mirror.
Part 2, directed by Jacob Gentry, finds a raging Lewis associating with some equally unhinged apartment dwellers in a warped facsimile of domestic life. It aims for George Romero-style ghastly humor, but it is more grating than funny.
Part 3, directed by Dan Bush, finds Lewis and Ben fighting to possess Mya and reignites the apocalyptic mood of Part 1.
It adds a splash of tragic love, but its preference for gore over feeling becomes monotonous.