More than just the picture is fuzzy as White Noise fades in the end
Fabulously wealthy architect John (Michael Keaton) loses his near-jailbait wife and is subsequently introduced to a preternatural communication theory called electronic-voice phenomenon, where one can hear the wispy voices of the dead on audiotape, cell phones, boom boxes and VCRs.
Apparently, ghosts favor Sony products. I would advise against buying a Sony product, in that not all denizens of the spirit world want to pass on post-beating heart valentines. Some of them like to mentor serial killers and electrocute young mothers.
Meanwhile, a handful of unnecessary secondary characters (including a disposable-character son) interrupt the widower’s pursuit of this newfound obsession. Perhaps “pursuit” is too active a word for Keaton’s role, easily the most aggressively passive protagonist since Rosemary’s Baby. Lots of things happen, and he just keeps cocking that eyebrow, staring intently at snow on a television monitor. And grieving. Copious amounts of time spent dwelling on his grief … and buying Sony products.
White Noise wants to be a Japanese horror flick. Lots of emphasis on melancholia and technophobia and plenty of skittering shadows. No creepy kids or pasty-skinned chicks with hair hanging down over their faces, however. For the most part it succeeds on a modest level, delivering with a couple of decent chills and a solid cheater jolt (cue loud music and smash cut).
Spoilers: Actually, I was sorta rooting for the movie until right around the time that it is revealed that John is receiving messages from the soon-to-be dead. Hello? Wouldn’t someone about to be whacked by supernatural forces send out an EVP memo to self: Don’t hang around the house at 2:30 a.m. Or go into that creepy factory. So much for internal logic.
And apparently the cops reside in CSI: Moronville. Forensics deduces that the wife fell down while changing her tire riverside, whacked her head and was swept away by the tide. As it turns out, the wife had been tortured for two or three weeks and then dumped into the river. Throw in a half-assed deux ex machina ending, and the stupidity is complete.
Wiping up pig troughs is, comparatively, an intellectual pursuit.