films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


The Signalman

1976 / 38m - UK
Mystery, Horror
The Signalman poster

A BBC short film that adapts one of Dickens' classic horror stories. Sadly it's a bit too obvious that we're dealing with a TV production here, as the film fares pretty well as a mystery/horror. That's more than I expected when I decided to watch this one, but not enough to make it a solid recommend.

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The story revolves around a signalman (someone who controls the train traffic) who is getting distressing warning signs only he can hear. Whenever such a signal arrives, it is followed by a grave disaster and the appearance of a specter. When one day a traveler passes by, the man is so on edge that he has to tell his story.

Even for a short film the pacing is a little sluggish, especially the first 20 minutes. It gets a lot moodier in the second half, where Clark makes excellent use of the grim, foggy setting and the ominous tunnel. It's solid filler, though its status is a bit overrated, as it's little more than a decent TV mystery.