Anna Rydell returns home to her sister (and best friend) Alex after a stint in a mental hospital, though her recovery is jeopardized thanks to her cruel stepmother, aloof father, and the presence of a ghost in their home.
The car of successful author Anna Rivers is found disabled next to the river, the thought being that she accidentally fell into the river while trying to change a flat tire. Her dead body is found upstream several weeks later, consistent with the accidental death theory. Based on incidents around him, her grieving husband, architect Jonathan Rivers, decides several months later to visit with Raymond Price, who approached John prior to Anna's body being found with news that she was trying to contact him from beyond. At that time, John was skeptical of Raymond's claims of electronic voice phenomena (EVP): that he is contacted from the beyond through electronic means - radio, television - which he is able to record. Along with Sarah Tate, another of Raymond's "clients" whose fiancé passed away, John becomes obsessed with EVP as he gets more and more audio and video messages, however fuzzy, from Anna from beyond. That obsession takes a slight change in focus when John believes that Anna ... Written by
What you bear with you when you go to this movie will affect how much you enjoy this picture. If you go with an intense curiosity for the subject of EVP, but have no prior knowledge of it, you will be somewhat disappointed, as the picture does not explain the the phenomena adequately. If you go in a bona fide skeptic, you are likely to leave as a disgruntled skeptic.
As for me, having had prior knowledge on the subject matter, I went to this movie quite eagerly, and was only slightly disappointed. The film did depict a newly widowed man's grief, and the desperation that sometimes follows such a loss. Although not many will go as far as to attempt contact via electronic devices, we can identify with the protagonist's need for closure. for who hasn't longed for that last conversation, kind word or even a farewell from a deceased loved one.
The actors were proficient in their roles, and a number of scenes left me quite shocked and unsettled. That is saying quite a lot, as I've tried my hand at contacting the spirit world before, but have never seen such a frightening experience as that endured by the protagonists.
The only things that detracted from the movie was its ending and its confusing pace. Although the first third of the movie went at an almost too slow pace, it was easy to follow. The latter 2/3s of the program could get confusing, and almost felt like some one stomped into the studio whilst they were filming and said "Come on then! Get a move on! We haven't got until Gabriel's trumpet resounds!" It simply went to quickly, hence my decision to see it twice. Not to spoil anything for those who have not seen this picture yet, but the latter part of the movie left matters to be desired.
The generous rating is warranted however, for creating an interesting movie around something as time-consuming and often unrewarding as EVP is quite a feat in and of itself. True, they have embellished things quite a bit, but if they hadn't, they'd not attract as wide an audience. The special effects were done well, and the director did the splendid job of keeping the audience tense for the greater part of the picture.
If you purchase the DVD, plan to watch it twice or thrice to get the most enjoyment out of it. Remember to watch also with an open mind, and at least some prior knowledge to the EVP phenomenon. Happy watching.
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