White Noise (Widescreen Edition) (2005)

Michael Keaton, Deborah Kara Unger
Geoffrey Sax
Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Color, Widescreen, Dolby
DVD Release Date:
May 17, 2005
Run Time: 98

DVD Features: Deleted Scenes, Hearing is Believing: Actual E.V.P. Sessions, Making Contact: E.V.P. Experts


White Noise is a decidedly average Sixth Sense wannabe in which Michael Keaton (of Batman and Beetlejuice fame) plays a husband whose dead wife communicates with him via cell phones, static on the TV and so forth. (Hence the title.)

It is Michael Keaton's first starring role in quite a while, but one unlikely to revive his career (is he sure that it was his wife, and not his career calling him from the dead?) since he plays quite an emotionally uninvolving and bland character. Some more time spent on the movie's characters would have been a good idea, but instead we have to cope with a fuzzy plot that lacks any focus or clarity.

THE DISC: Unfortunately we didn't get sent a final product for review purposes by the film's publicists, hence the missing disc rating. Because of piracy fears what we instead got was the feature film on VHS and the DVD special features on a separate disc.

The feature film itself was in pan 'n' scan with hundreds of property of Universal messages floating around. Occasionally the movie would turn Black & White. All to render this particular copy unusable for any pirates intent on uploading a digital copy on the Internet.

Now, while I fully understand and sympathize with the studio's concerns regarding piracy, I don't think this is exactly the way to go around fighting it. After all, DVD pirates would use this copy anyway since people who smuggle a video camera into a cinema and point it at the screen aren't exactly into Quality Assurance issues here . . .

The dead communicating to the living like this is called EVP (electronic voice phenomena) and the movie ? and the special features on the DVD - goes out of its way to convince us that it is indeed something very real. If you're of a skeptical bent like me, you'd probably write it off the same way you did Elvis sightings, Bigfoot and UFO abductions.

The special features include several of those Unsolved Mysteries-style ?documentaries? which investigates an issue without presenting a viewpoint different to those of the onscreen persons who all believe in Elvis sightings / alien abductions / whatever. Needless to say they're quite dull and an opposing viewpoint by an eminent scientist would have been welcome. (But who does this sort of thing now that Carl Sagan is dead?)

The included deleted scenes are more like extended scenes and not particularly interesting. It is clear why they were left out of the movie.

WORTH IT? There are a few scares to be had and you'll probably do worse.

RECOMMENDATION: Ultimately White Noise is something you rent when a really scary movie like A Tale of Two Sisters is out . . .


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