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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2005!
WHITE NOISE, 2005
Starring: Michael Keaton, Deborah Kara Unger, Chandra West, Ian McNeice
An architect's desire to speak with his wife from beyond the grave, becomes an obsession with supernatural repercussions.
I watched "White Noise" back in 2005 in a movie theater when it first came out. Here were are 6 years later and I can't for the life of me remember anything about the film other than it's about EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena). I just saw "White Noise 2" (be on the look out for that review as well) and thought to myself "Wait, what? I don't remember anything like that in the first movie! So I re-watched the original to review for you. Don't worry, I'm writing this review fast so I won't forget the movie again (is it bad that I didn't even remember Michael Keaton was the main star?)!
Jonathan Rivers is an architect living a normal life with his 2nd wife Anna (who is a novelist with a new book coming out soon) and having shared custody of his son with his 1st wife. He even gets along with his ex-wife! One morning, Anna informs Jonathan of her good news: she's pregnant! Overjoyed, Jonathan decides that they should celebrate and when he comes home with flowers and chocolates. When he arrives home there's a message on his answering machine from Anna saying she's going to be a little late. Jonathan waits... and waits... and waits. He calls Anna's phone several times (no answer) and the person Anna is supposed to be with (again, no answer). Suddenly, at 2:30am the clock in the kitchen stops and the radio turns on by itself.
The next morning, it's on the news that Anna's car was found by the waterfront but Anna herself is missing. Jonathan is soon hounded by the press and asks his ex-wife to take their son for a while. One morning, Jonathan sees a man in a vehicle outside his house. Later that day, the same man is sitting on a bench across the street from Jonathan's work. Jonathan goes to confront the man, whose name is Raymond Price. Raymond tells Jonathan that Anna (who is still missing) is in fact dead, and he knows this because she's been contacting him via EVP since the moment of her death. Jonathan treats the man like a quack and leaves after Raymond gives him a business card. Not long after, Anna's body is found.
6 months later, strange things keep happening to Jonathan at 2:30. The radio comes on by itself. He gets a phone call from Anna's cell despite it being turned off. And then comes the kicker: a message on his home answering machine in which Anna's voice says his name.
Jonathan goes to Richard Price's home. After meeting Sarah Tate (another of Raymond's clients who lost her husband a few months ago), Jonathan talks with Richard who explains to him what EVP is is both it's audio and video forms and let's Jonathan listen to the first recording he got of Anna talking.
Jonathan soon becomes obsessed with EVP and sets up his own station for it in his home in hopes of making contact with Anna. After Richard is found dead among his own equipment, Jonathan starts getting messages from his wife and finds that she's showing him the images of people before they die and he starts going out to save their lives. With Sarah Tate's help, he uncovers a mystery: all the people he sees that then die if he can't save them were clients of Richard Price...
"White Noise" is a good movie... it just doesn't really stand out as a very memorable one. It'll be an enjoyable time to anyone who's into things like ghost hunting and EVP. It should also appeal to anyone who likes murder mysteries. It's definitally a good time for an hour and a half. So then, what makes it so forgettable?
The first thing is that the acting, all around, is just so-so. Very average. Nobody in this film gives a stand out Oscar worthy performance. But then, nobody gives a terrible "oh my God that was awful" performance either. The acting is very middle of the road, and who remembers an actor that's just ok?
The story itself feels like something that's been done before. We've all seen movies where spirits contact the living or where the living are trying desperately to reach the spirit of a loved one. We've all seen mystery movies where something that seems like one thing (trying to save the lives of people before they die) turns into something that needs a bit more detective work (those dying people all have a common link, so why them?). I feel like a lot of filmmakers think that combining cliché story elements like this makes their movie original and creative... but to me it just feels both chiche and forced... and, in keeping with the theme: forgettable.
Everything about this movie, from the cinematography to the characters to the soundtrack, is all just average. Nothing great, but nothing terrible either. And when something is neither good nor bad, it becomes hard to remember. "White Noise" is one of those movies that you'll enjoy while you're watching it, but a couple months (or in my case years) down the road, the only way you'll be able to recall anything from it is to watch it again.
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