Shortwave – USA, 2015 – reviews



‘They’re already here.’

Shortwave is a 2015 American science fiction thriller written and directed by Ryan Gregory Phillips. It stars Cristobal Tapia Montt, Sara Malakul Lane, Kyle Davis, Jay Ellis, Nina Senicar, Mick Ignis and Juanita Ringeling.

Having suffered the loss of their only child, Josh and Isabel Harris relocate to a secluded hillside research facility with the hopes of repairing their broken family situation.

Meanwhile, after years of trying, Josh and his research partner, Thomas, have a breakthrough involving a cryptic shortwave radio signal and its universal origins. Something within the signal resonates with Isabel and she begins experiencing seeming hallucinations and visions of distant memories.

Upon further investigation into the phenomenon, the scientists fear for Isabel’s health while she suspects the signal has attracted something sinister to their new home…


“It manages to carve out a unique perspective in a saturated genre, and triggers the heart and mind in addition to the adrenal glands. Though it ends a bit abruptly, it still manages to feel like a complete experience, and has some genuinely scary moments.” Mike McClelland, Flickering Myth

” … a commendable focus on character development and interaction over spectacle and gore. The ending and unnecessary melancholy flashbacks might leave something to be desired, but the clever script, competent cast and Phillip’s directing more than make up for these minor setbacks. It might not be a totally horrific scare-fest, but Shortwave is certainly worth a watch…” Luiz H.C., Bloody Disgusting

Shortwave works best when Phillips keeps it relatively grounded and acutely claustrophobic. Dream sequences have been a perilous prospect for every film released after Hitchcock’s Spellbound and Phillips never comes close to cracking that nut. Nevertheless, the film delivers generously evocative servings of paranoia and angst.” J.B. Spins

Shortwave plays like a short story stretched to a feature-length effort, or an episode of a horror anthology series. Phillips has trouble massaging the material into 80 minutes of mind-bending fright, leaving one too many stretches to casual dialogue and, again, staring. So much staring.” Brian Orndorf,

Fun Facts:

The film made its worldwide debut at the Dances with Films festival on June 4, 2016.