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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 1.98%
Just Average: 25.74%
Pretty Crappy: 26.73%

10 reviews, 41 user ratings

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White Noise
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by J. K. Radtke

"Killer tapes? Pfft! I want killer DVD's dammit! Like in Hellraiser 3!"
1 stars

Not since since The Ring has a "psychological thriller" about killer VHS tapes managed to thoroughly bore me, rocking me gently into a coma, where I may then dream about killer tape movies that actually manage not to suck. Ah, but White Noise managed to out-do The Ring by including cassette tapes as well! I can hear it now, Geoffrey Sax screaming proudly at the top of a mountain, "Screw you Verbinski! I'm the king of killer tapes now, haha!"

Haunted by the absence of his deceased wife, architect Jonathon Rivers (Michael Keaton) finds solace in the highly unorthodox, and unproven, method of communicating with the dead called EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon), also known to as White Noise. It’s not long before Jon is consumed with EVP, retreating from his job and his family to record hours upon hours of tape, hoping that in playback, the spirit of his wife will come through. Unfortunately for Jon, his wife’s spirit isn’t alone.

As a fan of supernatural films, I was genuinely interested in seeing what this film had to offer. Michael Keaton on his worst day has always had something of quality to offer, and if you’re a Sci-Fi Channel junkie like I am, then you’re probably into the whole act of ghost hunting. Not doing it yourself or anything, but rather living vicariously through those who do. So going in, it was going to take a lot for me to wind up not liking this film … and unfortunately, White Noise was ready to do the work.

The film opens with a scene presenting a relatively normal family. We see affluent architect Jon, his best-selling author wife, Anna (Chandra West), and his son all conversing and acting happy over breakfast. Later, in an intimate moment, Chandra announces she’s pregnant, they embrace, angel’s sing, dwarves dance, cupid busts a move, and we feel better for having been there. Thankfully, because this is a thriller after all, within twenty-four hours, all of this happiness takes a backseat, and the voices in the static begin.

White Noise is based on an interesting premise. Where Ghostbusters picked up on the ethereal manifestations of ghosts and spirits for laughs, White Noise had the opportunity to explore a still relatively unknown phenomenon for thrills. The idea that spirits are all around us, all the time, and that we can capture evidence of them on tape is very interesting. Could we actually hear the voices of the dead in the recordings of a blank cassette? Could we actually see the faces of late loved ones in the snow flurry of a blank VHS tape? White Noise seems to think so, which is fine, as we expect it to.

However, as the film pushes on, the plot begins to feel downtrodden and formulaic. Keaton’s performance of a grieving husband searching for hope is good, but the film spends so much time on it, we’re left feeling depressed, rather than thrilled. Introduced to the strange EVP phenomenon by Raymond Price (Ian McNeice), we are gradually drawn into a haunting hobby of a fat man who too lost a loved one. Through Price we also meet Sarah Tate (Deborah Kara Unger), who is also—you guessed it—a griever who lost her man-pal a short time back.
When something awful happens to Price, Jon and Sarah pick up the slack, and only further submerge themselves into this thing that is quite obviously best left alone.

Thankfully there are no hints of a romance between Jon and Sarah (the grievers), but the filmmakers do manage to derail this psychological thriller off its tracks by introducing a trip to a psychic (played by Sarah Strange) who forewarns Jon; warnings that are completely denied. They also introduce a serial killer subplot that makes so little sense, trying to understand where it came from will leave your brain in a twist…and not the good kind.

The special effects are adequate, but not stellar. Geoffrey Sax’s direction succeeds in capturing a creepy tone, but this success is cut off at the knees by piss-poor pacing, turning the creepiness into plain old boredom.

The final nail through this film’s coffin is the last scene, which shows just how far gone this project actually wound up, accepting the complete abandonment of psychology, and going straight for your typical horror shock scare. It’s insulting, pathetic, and tragic when considering how good this film could have been.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11420&reviewer=386
originally posted: 04/28/05 21:04:21
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User Comments

2/27/21 morris campbell total crap 1 stars
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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