White Noise (2005)

(On Cable TV, January 2017) For such an underwhelming horror movie, White Noise does have the distinction of an unnerving trailer—a trailer so good, in fact, that it managed to make me seek out the film even twelve years later. This being said, let’s be honest: Critics savaged this film upon release, and time hasn’t been kind to it since then. For all of the energy and sincerity that Michael Keaton can bring to a character fascinated by supernatural electromagnetic phenomena, White Noise has a far better premise than what it can limply show on-screen. Far too often settling into familiar horror clichés, this is a film with few surprises in store, starting with the tired “communicating with the dead brings back evil spirits”. The mythology of the film is muddled, and there’s a far too arbitrary nature to the script as it manipulates its protagonist toward a specific third act. From a promising beginning, White Noise gradually loses its effectiveness to the point when its tragic ending only elicits a shrug. Too bad—but the trailer (which doesn’t feature much footage from the movie) still has a kick to it.

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