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
The recording used in the trailer that is attributed to Stanley Searles ("I love you.") is thought to be the "ghostly" voice of Searles himself, a former politician who died in 2002. The recording was said to have been made by Searles' daughter, a well-known EVP researcher named Karen Mossey. See more »
When Jon is eating a sandwich trying to get some of the dead to contact him on his TV's, his facial hair changes from scruffy, to shaved, and back and forth. See more »
[after John hears a ghost cursing at them]
There are some very bad people out there. They can't all be Anna.
See more »
White static and flickering, subliminal images appear over the opening credits. It then segues into the opening scene. See more »
What a shame it is when a potentially captivating and refreshingly low-key story manages to latch onto your interest at the start and then gradually lets you down further and further until you're left scratching your mystified head by the time it reaches its overdone conclusion. Unfortunately, this is what happened to me by the end of WHITE NOISE.
It wasn't Michael Keaton's fault; it was a pleasure to see him return as the star of a brand new movie once again, looking a bit wrinkled perhaps, but still managing to give a strong and sincere performance. As a man whose wife has recently died, he becomes obsessed with her wandering spirit in the afterlife (not a new idea), apparently getting contacted by her through that funky electrical fuzz business you see on your television screen when there's nothing being broadcast.
The idea of spirits communicating via the airwaves is called EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) and there are a lot of people who actually believe in it for real, so I'm not going to make any comments about what I think of that, or them. Let me just say that I'm all for suspension of disbelief when it comes to buying into fantastic films like this, but what I can't tolerate is not understanding what the hell was supposed to be taking place, which is about where I was left stranded when the credits finally began to roll. Much static indeed.
There are occasionally movies like this that have me completely baffled, but if a film fails to make itself clear for me, I tend to consider that to be the fault of the filmmaker, not my own (unless I watched it while I was too tired to focus or something). Well, for WHITE NOISE I was wide awake, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed -- so guess who's to blame?
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