A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
In a film about grief, loss, obsession, message that arises is that some questions are better left unanswered.
Positive Role Models
No positive role models stand out, and it's hard to determine whether those being helpful are truly that. Lead character perseveres, but his pursuit of information becomes unhealthy obsession.
Racial diversity among cast, including Asian leading man. A young woman is potrayed as smart, capable, a survivor.
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Violence & Scariness
Creepy, sometimes grotesque imagery of masked person making distorted, ominous sounds. Shocking, bloody on-camera death via suicide that's shown repeatedly. Physical struggle that leads to injury. Implied murder. Intimidation. Kidnapping. The pirate broadcast features a person in an expressionless Michael Myers-style mask.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Passing reference to a man being "found" with underage girls.
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Strong language includes "ass," "s--t," and multiple uses of "f--k."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Smoking throughout. Characters drink; the main character is talked into drinking shots at a bar and gets drunk, resulting in a positive outcome.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Broadcast Signal Intrusion is a thriller inspired by real-life mysterious broadcast hackings that happened in Chicago in the late 1980s. The broadcast in question features a person in an expressionless Michael Myers-style mask whose voice is distorted beyond recognition; it's got the potential to freak kids out. A knife is shown cutting into the mask near the wearer's eyeball, and many hands slide up around someone who is sleeping. A bloody death via suicide does occur on camera; it's shown multiple times. The main character commits a deadly act of violence. Main characters smoke and do shots of bourbon. Language includes "s--t" and "f--k." Ultimately, the confusing story is about (relatively) ancient technology and seems unlikely to entertain teens. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If you're going to spend 92 minutes diving into a rabbit hole, you want to find something more than fluff like this. This Frightfest script competition winner was inspired by actual pirate transmissions that occurred in 1987 in Chicago, when a person wearing a Max Headroom mask interrupted a couple of TV shows with bizarre statements and behavior. The perpetrator was never caught, and message boards went wild with conspiracy theories. This mystery dives into pockets that are pretty similar but takes the idea further, connecting nefarious behavior to the incidents.
Like a conspiracy theory, the story in Broadcast Signal Intrusion makes leaps that don't make sense and opens threads that are never sewn up. While eventually it becomes clear why James should care, it's hard to understand why anyone else does. With an ending that's open to interpretation, this is ultimately a frustrating quest that most will find fruitless. Take a note from the rabbit: Scurry away.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.