Day #218: White Noise (2005)


[From IMDb:] An architect’s desire to speak with his wife from beyond the grave, becomes an obsession with supernatural repercussions.

My take:

White Noise is such a weirdly uneven film.

As a paranormal drama about Jonathon’s loss of his wife, it works. There are some genuinely touching moments where Michael Keaton – who’s obviously an accomplished actor – is able to get across his character’s loss, and the impact that his growing obsession has on the people around him. Throw in a capable supporting cast, and this aspect of the movie works.

It even works as a thriller. Kind of. There’s a blend of creepy moments – and concepts – thrown in with some…unintentionally not creepy moments/concepts. A bit of hit and miss, which mostly seems to align with how close the movie stays to its roots as a paranormal drama.

And this is where most of that aforementioned unevenness comes from. Because White Noise doesn’t try to just be a paranormal drama/thriller – it also attempts to be a horror movie, particularly in its third act.

And this is a mistake.

The further away from reality that White Noise gets, the more scrambled the story becomes – and the less that pre-established rules seem to apply. While this may work in some other movies, the problem for White Noise is that its flaunting of the rules in the final act brings up a host of, “if X, then why (not) Z?” lines of questioning. That, and it’s just kind of silly.

Although I don’t think I found White Noise as disappointing this time around as I did on first viewing it, I still can’t help but think of it as a wasted opportunity. There’s something simultaneously intriguing and creepy about the idea of EVPs – and what they could mean – that having one of the few movies to engage with the concept really stuff it up is a letdown. Particularly because there were some interesting ideas in there (and some characters I would’ve liked to see more of).

If only it hadn’t tried to be a horror movie on top of everything else, maybe White Noise would’ve been okay?


2 thoughts on “Day #218: White Noise (2005)

  1. I use to be a movie goer but this was the film that changed it all. In fact learn from this show that if you wish to get your money back you have to ask within the first 15 mins at the start of the film at the local threatre. But anyway for $80 for two tickets, two medium pop and a tub of popcorn for a bad movie convince me to wait till it came on dvd and now a day wait till its on netfix. Never again for overpriced food and bad horror movies.


    • Haha, I think we’ve all had that moment (particularly as movie prices have gone up considerably over the years!). I tend to stay away from cinemas unless it’s something I *really* want to see. So, Into the Woods is the only movie I’ve seen in a cinema for…over a year, I think?!


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