Movie Review
White Noise
White Noise poster
By Evan     Published January 5, 2005
US Release: January 7, 2005

Directed by: Geoffrey Sax
Starring: Michael Keaton , Chandra West , Deborah Unger , Sarah Strange

Running Time: 101 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $55,865,715
White Noise offers an intriguing plot, but for a horror movie this is not nearly eerie enough.
White Noise stars Michael Keaton as a man (Jonathan) whose wife dies in what is supposedly a car accident. Her time of death was at 2:30, and then at 2:30 bizarre incidents start happening to him. A man then tries to contact Jonathan claiming that his dead wife has been sending messages to him through EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena).

Jonathan ignores this, but when his cell phone rings and it?s his dead wife on the other end, and her cell phone is in a drawer, and isn?t powered, he immediately sets out to see the man. After a series of events, Jonathan turns to the EVP and grows obsessed. He even visits a psychic who is terrified by his situation, and she tells him he is meddling with the dead and they are not to be messed with. What does he do? Predictably, he goes right back to doing it.

The movie starts off as having a lot of potential, but after a few wrong turns the movie?s fun is cut in half. First off the jumps are so predictable that one man in the audience shouted: "Here it comes! Everyone ready?" The filmmakers just don't know where they?re going in a lot of scenes. It goes from being a ghost story to being a murder mystery in about five minutes; it turns into a Saw (A-) type movie with one leap of desperate writing. It was like the writers were on a short deadline and decided to do some second-rate rush work.

White Noise does have some scenes that work. There are three mysterious, evil ghosts that are in the form of dark figures and they are kind of creepy. And some of the moments that are foreshadowed are creepier than anticipated. However, it?s a fatal mistake to show the ghosts by using cheap fading effects, and Jonathan also has a three-minute conversation with his ghost wife, which doesn't fit. So far, the only filmmaker who has been able to combine horror and drama effectively is M. Night Shaymalan.

Michael Keaton?s acting is also an issue. His character?s wife is missing for three weeks and he doesn?t show any signs of emotion; there?s one brief moment when he cries and it only lasts a few seconds. His lack of fear in a situation that would terrify the bravest of men is not believable. White Noise offers an intriguing plot, but for a horror movie this is not nearly eerie enough.
Evan's Grade: C+
Evan's Overall Grading: 1 graded movies
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'White Noise' Articles
  • Gareth's review C+
    January 7, 2005    White Noise isn?t a bad film, but it is sunken by the issues with the finale. -- Gareth Von Kallenbach