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

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

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.