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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

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.