White Noise

"Terrible"

White Noise Review


White Noise is predicated on an intriguing process called Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) where the dead contact the living through televisions, telephones, and radios. Some may think it's ridiculous, but EVP has long been a fascination for ghost researchers. It's also been the basis for some of the creepiest and most disturbing horror movies ever made, like The Ring and Poltergeist. But with White Noise, we receive mixed signals and a new broadcast that becomes a boring waiting game for the thrills to begin.

Michael Keaton is Jonathan Rivers, a successful architect and loving husband to his pregnant novelist wife Anna (Chandra West) and father to his son Mike (Nicholas Elia), from a previous marriage. After Anna's sudden disappearance and subsequent death, a man named Raymond Price (Ian McNeice) contacts Jonathan claiming he's been receiving messages from Anna on the other side. Desperate to be connected once again with his wife, Jonathan begins a dangerous obsession with EVP.

He converts his living room into a studio equipped with numerous television monitors, computers, and high-tech recording devices ready to capture anything he sees or hears. Soon, Jonathan completely distances himself from real life. Important business meetings are cancelled, and weekend visits with his son are woefully dismissed so that he can keep his eyes and ears glued to the televisions. Jonathan believes the messages he hears in the white noise are alerting him to crimes that have not yet been committed. He quickly becomes a superhero for the living -- saving lives and delivering good news from the beyond to his neighbors. Too bad he can't do anything for the comatose audience in the theater.

Even from its opening frames, the predictable White Noise fails miserably to frighten, enlighten, or entertain. The central problem is that too many scenes take place in front of static television monitors with barely audible sounds and images that look horribly reproduced just for effect. What are we supposed to be listening for? What's so important that Jonathan must forgo his son and life in order to listen? If this is truly an accurate depiction of the science behind EVP, then it's a totally boring and mind-numbing experience unworthy of fictional filmmaking.

Television movie director Geoffrey Sax appears completely lost in his first big screen attempt. White Noise is directionless. Because a clear plot is never delineated, it becomes burdensome for us to identify with Jonathan's plight and understand his reactions. The first half of the film that deals with Anna's death is remarkably devoid of any emotion from Jonathan, and the bizarre twists and turns in the second half offer us more questions than answers.

Much better films dealing with similar ideas are out there; focus your gaze in the horror section of your local video store, not a scrambled movie screen.

Deleted scenes and a commentary track aren't the highlight of the White Noise DVD -- it's the series of samples and how-to footage about recording EVPs for yourself. Creepy.

Sometimes they just don't need captions.



White Noise

Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th January 2005

Box Office USA: $55.9M

Box Office Worldwide: $56.1M

Budget: $10M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures, Gold Circle Films, Brightlight Pictures, Endgame Entertainment, Corus, The Movie Network (TMN), Province of British Columbia Film Incentive BC, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 8%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 135

IMDB: 5.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Jonathan Rivers, as Anna Rivers, as Sarah Tate, as Raymond Price, as Mirabelle Keegan, as Jane, as Mike Rivers, as Detective Smits, Marsha Regis as Police Woman

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.