Hello, horrorphiles! Happy Friday, and welcome to another edition of Underrated Horror Movie of the Month. For all the newbies, I will explain what happens here. Twice every month, on the second and fourth Friday, I talk about a horror movie I feel is underrated and underloved. Today, I am talking about the 2005 film White Noise. This flick might give you the creeps. Ready? Let’s go!
About White Noise
Have you ever heard a voice in static from a television or radio? This terrifying experience is known as an Electronic Voice Phenomenon or EVP. Some people believe they can communicate with the deceased through EVP recordings. This belief is what Jonathan Rivers (Michael Keaton) needs in his life.
When Jonathan’s wife, Anna (Chandra West), goes missing, only to later be found dead, he will do anything to talk to her one more time. A local man, Raymond Price (Ian McNeice), uses EVP to deliver messages from beyond to those left behind. Jonathan approaches Raymond and goes down a rabbit hole of EVPs and what is behind them. Unfortunately, every voice is not an innocent soul trying to connect with a loved one. Some are entirely sinister.
White Noise also stars Deborah Kara Unger, Nicholas Elia, Mike Dopud and Sarah Strange. Niall Johnson wrote the story, and Geoffrey Sax directed it. The run time is one hour and 38 minutes.
This film only has a seven percent Tomatometer rating and a 31 percent Audience Score rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Fun fact: Several EVP recordings play during the White Noise trailer, including one attributed to a woman named Ruth Baxter. While it is unclear where that name came from, the recording comes from a paranormal investigator named Sarah Estep. She took that particular recording at an allegedly haunted lighthouse at Point Lookout in Maryland. The lighthouse was utilized for other purposes during the Civil War. Estep believes the voice says, “I was seeing the war.” Different interpretations include, “I was seeing the water” and “I will see you no more.”
I love a creepy supernatural horror movie, and White Noise falls under that category. Another apt word to describe this film is “disturbing.” So much so that I would not recommend it to anyone sensitive to themes of loss and grief.
The directing, cinematography and sets combine to create an eerie atmosphere. Some scenes have such a phenomenal atmosphere as to cause chills. These aspects are from where most of the scares originate. It is far more on the horror genre’s physiological, jumpscare, mind-bending side. If you prefer extreme horror or the “blood and guts” side of the genre, you will be sorely disappointed with this one.
Generally speaking, I am a fan of Michael Keaton. While I feel he did a decent job with the character of Jonathan, some scenes felt like he wasn’t fully present. The other actors did well, but my favorite performance is from Ian McNeice. I think he did a brilliant job with the emotions and intricacies of Raymond Price.
I have seen multiple reviews stating the story is weak and underdeveloped. This particular point is one with which I strongly disagree. Going into White Noise, the premise is well defined. A grieving husband finds solace in hearing his deceased wife’s voice in EVPs. Before long, he finds himself confronted with malicious spirits, some going so far as to pretend to be benign. This is what plays out on the screen. Are there a few points I wish had been explored further? Absolutely, but that does not mean the overall plot was underdeveloped.
There is a twist at the end. I have gathered that people either love or hate it; there is no middle ground. I am in the former category — I figured out the twist before the big reveal, but it is still well done.
Overall, this movie is creepy and enjoyable. I recommend giving it a chance if you have not seen it yet.
Alright, horror fans, another underrated horror is in the books. Is White Noise the perfect specimen of the genre? Not necessarily, but it is a creepy ride that is well worth the hour and a half.
Have you seen this film? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to tell me which horror movie you think I should feature next. In the meantime, check out the trailer for White Noise below.
Until next time, stay spooky!