Canadian Premiere
Selection 2021 On Demand

Broadcast Signal Intrusion

Directed by Jacob Gentry

Virtual Screening


Official selection

SXSW Film Festival


Jacob Gentry


Phil Drinkwater, Tim Woodall


Kelley Mack, Harry Shum Jr., Chris Sullivan


Dark Sky Films

USA 2021 104 mins OV English
Genre HorrorThriller

It’s 1999 in Chicago, and a new digital information age has dawned. James (Harry Shum Jr.) is a video techie archiving archaic broadcast tape masters onto DVDs when he stumbles upon an unnerving anomaly: a masked figure speaking in distorted tones drops into the midst of a news show. He learns that this is one of a series of such “intrusions” over the past several years, including two unsolved cases in his city. Already tormented by the disappearance of his wife some time before, James becomes driven to solve this mystery. First delving into the burgeoning Internet, he then follows the clues to a number of eccentric and disturbed individuals, with the help of a young woman named Alice (Kelley Mack). The deeper he digs, the more his obsession grows – even at the potential expense of his own sanity.

Despite the title, this has no connection to 2007’s indie sensation THE SIGNAL, for which director Jacob Gentry (SYNCHRONICITY) helmed a segment. Instead, BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION uses real-life 1980s broadcast hacks as the jumping-off point for an engrossing technological thriller. Set just before the turn of a new century that would forever change the way we view and process visual information, it’s also a study of a man who deals with one debilitating enigma by devoting himself to the resolution of another. The trail leads to a series of well-cast eccentrics, including a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist (Michael B. Woods) and a “phreaker” (Chris Sullivan). Rising genre composer Ben Lovett (THE RITUAL, THE WIND, THE NIGHT HOUSE) backs it all with an alternately noirish and discordant score, while top FX talent Daniel Martin (POSSESSOR, COLOR OUT OF SPACE) makes the intrusions into surreal, haunting bursts of televised terror. – Michael Gingold