Movie Review
White Noise
White Noise poster
By Gareth Von Kallenbach     Published January 7, 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 isn?t a bad film, but it is sunken by the issues with the finale.
Ever since ?The Sixth Sense,? films dealing with supernatural events have been an increasing presence as studios attempt to find the next breakout film. The latest foray into the supernatural is the new Michael Keaton film, ?White Noise,? which is based on the actual study of E.V.P. or Electronic Voice Phenomena, which is supposedly the voices of dead people speaking to the living via static in electronic devices. Although the factuality is of hot debate, there is no conclusive finding to the legitimacy, as many people attribute the supposed voices as simply the mind hearing what it wants to hear.

The film centers on Jonathan (Michael Keaton), an architect who is married to a best selling author, Anna (Chandra West). Tragedy sets in when Anna goes missing and eventually is found dead after an apparent accident. Jonathan?s world then collapses, forcing him to live in a state of despair. Shortly thereafter, a man named Raymond Price (Ian McNeice) comes to Jonathan claiming that he has been receiving messages from Anna from the afterlife. Jonathan is at first dismissive but when he gets calls on his cell that are originating from Anna?s cell number, he visits Raymond and learns about E.V.P.

Jonathan becomes obsessed with recording voices and images from the afterlife, as he is desperate to stay in contact with Anna. However, Raymond failed to tell Jonathan that there are evil and dangerous entities in the afterlife and they can also use E.V.P. as a way to access and influence the living. Jonathan also meets a fellow E.V.P user named Sara (Deborah Kara Unger), who like Jonathan becomes involved in a deeper and darker mystery as Jonathan begins to decipher a pattern behind the messages.

?White Noise? starts off as a solid mystery and has a few moments in which what you imagine is more intense than the reality. Roughly three-quarters of the way through, though, the tone changes from being a supernatural thriller to that of a mystery, and I suspect that the film will lose many people emotionally at this point. The film was working as a thrill, yet the last forth of its duration becomes confusing and sporadic, as the momentum and flow is lost.

The conclusion is also unsatisfying and predictable. And based on the very promising first hour, it was disappointing to see that the film took the easy way out and relied on tired ideas in what should have been a more logical conclusion. On the upside, Keaton does solid work and carries the film well. It is great to see him back on the big screen, as he is a gifted and versatile actor who is capable of handling a wide range of roles. ?White Noise? isn?t a bad film, but it is sunken by the issues with the finale.
Gareth's Grade: C+
Gareth's Overall Grading: 50 graded movies
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'White Noise' Articles
  • Evan's review C+
    January 5, 2005    White Noise offers an intriguing plot, but for a horror movie this is not nearly eerie enough. -- Evan