Entries Comments

Movie Review: White Noise 2

White Noise 2: The Light (Universal, 2008)
Directed by Patrick Lussier
Written by Matt Venne

Everyone’s all excited and jazzed up about that big monster movie shot on hand held opening this weekend, including our very own Projectionist who has a great review of it up already. I’m sure he’ll throw a link up for it right about HERE! Well, I am as well, and will be watching it later this weekend, and my review will be forthcoming.

However, before I get to that film, I thought I would write up a review for another anticipated film I watched tonight called White Noise 2: The Light. The only problem with what I just wrote is probably only about 2 people were actually looking forward to this film, and it went direct to DVD this past week. So, for you two White Noise fanatics, here’s what I thought of the film.

I’ll be honest. I haven’t seen the original White Noise. I tried to watch it a couple of times on cable and couldn’t make it past the first twenty minutes or so. It bored me to tears. From what I understand, this has really nothing to do with that film except it does touch upon some of the same subject matter. But I feel comfortable saying that you can go into this without watching the first film and not be lost or confused.

You may wonder why the Doc even bothered watching this film that was made more to cash in on a semi-successful previous installment than anything else. I got two words for you: Nathan Fillion. I will admit whole-heartedly to my man crush on Mr. Fillion. I was a lover of the short-lived cult sensation Firefly and the feature film Serenity. I have also enjoyed the man’s work in recent films such as the very fun horror romp, Slither, and last year’s critical darling, Waitress. White Noise 2 also got some early decent reviews that basically could be summed up as: “Well, it didn’t suck!”

After watching the film, I can agree with that assessment. The film most definitely didn’t suck, and when it was all said and done, the film was actually pretty damn good. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The original White Noise dealt with the phenomena of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). This is where you can hear dead people through electronic transmissions such as radio and television. After Abe Dale (Fillion) witnesses his wife and son shot down in a diner, he tries to kill himself and experiences a near death experience before the doctors are able to bring him back to life.

Afterwards, he can hear all of the voices throughout the transmissions like in the first film, but he can also see dead people walking around. He also discovers that he can see people’s auras (a bright shiny light) right before they are supposed to die, and like any good individual who has just lost his wife and son at gunpoint right before his very eyes, he finds a new lease on life, and realizes that he can save these people.

Stranger things quickly start happening, but how could they not? Abe is watching a video of his wife and kid driving a few days before they are killed and witnesses the man who was on the other end of the gun saving their lives after they almost get into a serious car wreck. So, now he knows that the man who eventually took their lives saved them just a few days before. What the hell, right?

Abe, in a contrived plot sequence that is a little too easy in the Doc’s opinion, goes to the man’s house where his wife is more than happy to let Abe come in and look through her husband’s things. Abe soon discovers that the man has had his own near death experience in the recent past, and now he must try to figure out why after saving people he feels like he has to go kill them.

I’m sure this sounds pretty silly, and the movie is a little ridiculous at times, especially toward the end. However, there is a lot to like in this little film, and it’s definitely one of those films, much like last year’s Wrong Turn 2, that I can’t understand why it didn’t get a theatrical release.

The film looks great, unlike most of your DTV releases. Director Patrick Lussier has not had a great filmography up to this point (Dracula 2000 and its sequels), but he does a fine job with this film. Fillion is very good in the lead, and it only makes you not understand more why he hasn’t broken out of this smaller film rut and gotten a chance to take on some of the big boys.

I also enjoyed the story for the most part. It has a couple of pretty cool twists along the way. Once you find out why there is a need to kill the people that you save, it’s hard not to take some interest in the overall picture. I’ve seen plenty of films where cheating death has its dire consequences, most notably, the Final Destination films. Here, however, there is a different take on the subject, and I give the film props for coming up with something a little more original.

The film also does a bang-up job handling a central love story between Abe and one of his nurses at the hospital, Sherry, played by cutie Katee Sackhoff from Battlestar Galactica and the updated Bionic Woman. Sherry ends up being one of the people that Abe has to save, and while I feel the film could have dealt better with their relationship’s resolution; it’s a well-written subplot up to that point.

There are a few things that stop the film from being even better that are a little annoying. The dead people that seem to pop up a little too frequently really have no bearing on much of the film as far as I could tell. They mostly seem to be a plot device to get a jump out of Abe and the audience. It’s as if the producers thought we needed a false scare every six minutes for this film to work. It’s really not all that necessary. The film’s main story keeps the freaky level up high enough to sustain the viewer.

The film also tries to make the big twist in the film a little more confusing than it needs to be. Sometimes less explanation is better, and in this case it turned what could have a very good film into a slightly above average one. Let’s just say religious icons come into the picture with very little time left and cause the ending to be a little cheesier than it would have been if they had just kept the resolution a little simpler.

All in all, though, this is not a bad film by any stretch. I would actually recommend it to anyone who is in the mood for a fun mystery/thriller. I think it definitely deserved a release in theaters, and considering the box office take from the first film, and the crap it would have had to compete with before Cloverfield came out, it probably would have made a few bucks as well. I guess we’ll never know, and the Doc will be even more perplexed at how the minds of Hollywood really work. That’s a mystery I would love Nathan Fillion to solve for me.

Follows: White Noise


Sam Loomis


Comment from yo
Time: January 26, 2008, 11:25 pm


Comment from yo
Time: January 26, 2008, 11:26 pm


Write a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.