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White Noise
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by EricDSnider

"Note to self: Don't listen to 'voices' heard through staticky TV stations."
3 stars

There is a pseudo-science called Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or EVP, that is the basis for the forgettable but mildly diverting film "White Noise." EVP suggests that when a TV or radio is tuned to nothing but static, that is the perfect medium for dead people to communicate, whispering over the buzz for those with keen ears to hear. I can testify that it works, because I just saw Michael Keaton communicate from his dead career through the static of a movie called "White Noise."

But I kid Mr. Mom! "White Noise" doesn't set out to prove EVP; it requires you to believe in it already. The film's intended eeriness isn't over whether the voice the protagonist hears is his dead wife's or something else altogether. That it's his wife is given as a fact, and the eeriness is meant to come from what she's saying, and what her husband does about it. The idea that EVP might be, I don't know, maybe a load of crap, isn't considered.

It still could have been an effective suspense-thriller, but as it stands, I'm not sure which parts they thought would be suspenseful or thrilling. There is very little mystery or intrigue; only vague communications from dead people.

It stars Michael Keaton as an architect named Jonathan Rivers whose wife Anna (Chandra West) disappears one night and is found dead a few weeks later. Six months pass. Still grief-stricken and off-kilter, Jonathan is contacted by a man named Raymond Price (Ian McNeice) who is an EVP practitioner and who claims to have been receiving messages from the late Anna. Jonathan listens and is immediately converted, which says more about Jonathan's mental state than it does about Raymond's persuasive powers.

I jotted in my notes that Raymond is an enormously fat British man whose neck hangs from his chin like a purse. I can't figure out how to work that into my review, though, so I'm not going to mention it.

Anyway, through Raymond, Jonathan meets another mourner, Sarah Tate (Deborah Kara Unger), who has been communicating with her dead fiancé, who is probably just trying to tell her that he wants the ring back. But Jonathan surpasses Sarah for devotion, becoming intensely obsessed with contacting Anna, and following the few clues she gives him in order to save the lives of others -- for you see, some dead people can apparently foretell the future.

The film reminds us that some spirits are malevolent, however, and Jonathan encounters some of those, too, primarily in the form of three shadowy figures who appear occasionally and growl spooky things. It leads the movie to a climax that doesn't make any sense on one level and is a disappointment on another level. I do give it credit, though, for dusting off the old "Hey, I didn't think THAT character was important, and here he is figuring heavily into the resolution!" device, which I haven't seen in a new film in quite some time.

Written by Niall Johnson and directed by Geoffrey Sax, both Brits with experience in television, "White Noise" has Michael Keaton's intensity and magnetism as its greatest assets and its storyline as its greatest weakness. Hearing dead people's voices through static loses its spine-chilling power after a few minutes, and unfortunately, that's about all the film has to offer.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11420&reviewer=247
originally posted: 01/15/05 18:35:03
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User Comments

9/19/13 Marmite I was 90% sure I hated this movie before the climax. I ended up 200% sure. 1 stars
4/10/10 Andrew, Amy and Gaelan shite, shite and more shite. The ending was terrible! I've never said WTF as much! 1 stars
11/27/09 Martin Smith I liked the concept but thought the characters were weak and pointless 3 stars
9/02/08 Shaun Wallner Ugg boring!! 2 stars
3/30/08 Raika Any chance those three ghosts can attack the director? 1 stars
10/23/07 Ivana Mann The ending was the biggest WTF moment in the history of American cinema.Absolute poo! 1 stars
8/19/06 Beau pointless scenes, lacked scary themes and trash that should neva have made it to the cinema 1 stars
8/13/06 Sharon its sucks!!! they should have never made this movie I wasted my time and $7!!! I hate it!! 1 stars
4/30/06 Ben W I was a bit clueless, I really wanted to know who the three ghosts were. 2 stars
3/26/06 Doremimi Would someone please cast Michael Keaton in a decent movie? This is getting ridiculous. 1 stars
1/27/06 chris f good movie worth watching 4 stars
1/02/06 Wiseman it was good half of the begining, But what the hell was the end all about? dumb as hell! 1 stars
11/06/05 Count Blah I want the wasted time back. I could have slept instead. . . . 1 stars
9/19/05 Mickey This is like watching a foreign film with no subtitles!! 1 stars
9/01/05 Teh Gret one I really didn't get it....so who was the guy in the chicken suit? Poo movie LOL111111111111 1 stars
7/25/05 Eric Rollins Poltigeist treated this subject more effectively, but it has it's moments. 3 stars
7/05/05 Indrid Cold The story is somewhat weak and unsatisfying, but not bad overall. 3 stars
7/02/05 kanga311 It totally left me hanging. Glad I didn't spend $10 at the theater to see it! 2 stars
6/08/05 camille What was that about? 2 stars
6/07/05 Darryl Watched this same night as "Boogeyman" and this wasn't as scary. 3 stars
6/05/05 Monday Morning Don't waste your time except to ogle Deborah Unger, an ultrababe if I ever saw one. 1 stars
5/24/05 Bart michael keaton is THIS desperate?? I mean..did he even READ the absurd ending? Kill me now! 2 stars
5/24/05 Doug Awfully done, yet by the end you'll be too ANGRY to laugh at it. 2 stars
5/22/05 Victor Meldrew What the hell was that ending all about?! I just didn't understand it! 1 stars
5/22/05 Tammy Horrible film too confusing to be interesting 1 stars
5/20/05 Christy Schultz Look at all the time I will never get back 1 stars
5/19/05 wendy rogers This movie started out ok and then the ending got alittle crazy. It was ok overall. 3 stars
5/18/05 ad could be worse i guess 2 stars
4/15/05 shatonjia Am I allowed to sue for false advertising on a movie preview? 1 stars
2/07/05 Richard Linxwiler Liked it, a scary movie with an actual plot. 4 stars
2/06/05 Real This was a really bad movie. The end totally sucks. 1 stars
1/29/05 Christine It was an okay movie 3 stars
1/29/05 clarance the cobra LICKS BALLS 1 stars
1/27/05 New Jersey Rules There hasn't been a good horror movie since The Blair Witch. 1 stars
1/13/05 Al Guy Not scary. The ad was scarier. 2 stars
1/10/05 Aaron Brown Has its flaws but is still an okay movie. 3 stars
1/09/05 Steve Michaud Staggeringly inept; devoid of chills, atmosphere, logic, or entertainment value 1 stars
1/08/05 Meryl As a student of EVP...this made me weep. Television static? WTF? 2 stars
1/07/05 Kristina Williams Batman sees dead people 3 stars
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  07-Jan-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 17-May-2005



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