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White Noise (Widescreen Edition) (2005)

Michael Keaton , Deborah Kara Unger , Geoffrey Sax  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Keaton, Deborah Kara Unger, Chandra West, Ian McNeice, Sarah Strange
  • Directors: Geoffrey Sax
  • Writers: Niall Johnson
  • Producers: Paul Brooks, Shawn Williamson
  • Format: Color, Dolby, DVD, NTSC, Subtitled, Full Screen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: May 17, 2005
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (244 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JNNT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,909 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "White Noise (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Making Contact: E.V.P. Experts
  • Recording the Afterlife at Home
  • Hearing is Believing: Actual E.V.P. Sessions
  • Feature Commentary with Director Geoffrey Sax and Michael Keaton
  • Deleted Scenes

  • Editorial Reviews

    The year's most disturbing thriller explores the unsettling possibility that the dead can contact us…all we have to do is listen. When architect Jonathan Rivers (Michael Keaton) loses his wife in a tragic accident, he turns to the shadowy, unnerving world of Electronic Voice Phenomenon - communication from beyond the grave. But as he begins to penetrate the mysteries of EVP, Jonathan makes a shocking discovery: once a portal to the other world is opened, there's no telling what will come through it.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    144 of 170 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Finally, some restraint! January 14, 2005
    It is a pleasant surprise to walk into a movie expecting to dislike it, and to leave the theater satisfied.

    Having read some of the reviews on this site, as well as some professional reviewers, I think they've missed the point of this film entirely. Reviewers on this site have also gotten their facts wrong. For example, Keaton has been in three movies since Jack Frost (yes, I agree that film was a disaster), and he served as the Executive Producer on another.

    Jonathan Rivers' (Keaton) wife dies in a car accident and like all husbands who adore their wives, he grieves. One day he sees a man sitting in an SUV across the street from his house, and when he gets to work that same day, the man is sitting on a bench across the street. Rivers rushes out to ask why he is following him, and the man introduces himself as Raymond Price (Ian McNeice). Price claims that Keaton's wife has passed over, and that she has communicated with him. Rivers immediately dismisses this, but Price leaves him with a card, asking that he keep it.

    The movie skips ahead six months, and we find Rivers moving into a new apartment. Unlike the home he shared with his wife, it is forbidding and cold: the walls are either blocked glass or grey cement.

    Then he receives a phone call on his cell, and the "name" that comes up is "Anna's Cell". He rushes home and pulls out the bag of effects that the police gave him from the crash; one of the items therein is Anna's cell phone. It's off. Then he receives another call, this one while he is holding Anna's cell phone, and it too is from "Anna's Cell".

    One morning at 2:30 the beeping of his answering machine awakens him. He gets out of bed and finds that there is one message. He plays it, and it is garbled with static.
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    17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Scary, but horribly plot-holed. January 7, 2005
    PLOT: After Jonathan's wife dies in a car crash, a man comes to Jonathan telling him that he can contact the spirit of his wife through EVP. (EVP is when images and sounds of the dead come through on electronic devices, such as on blank radio or TV stations.) Initially resistant to this, Jonathan finally hears some garbled messages from his wife, and decides to contact her further. He sets up a multi-TV/VCR/radio station in his apartment, and attempts to seek her. But the messages he receives include the image of three shady looking figures, and then he begins getting images on the TV of people not yet dead...

    MY THOUGHTS: If you're looking for a movie to scare the daylights out of you, White Noise just might do the job. However, most of its scares relies on "BOO!" moments: BANG! A screaming face pops into the calmly fuzzing white noise on the TV. BOOM! A freight truck cuts in front of Jonathan's minivan.

    While the scares are mostly effective, they get tiring after a while. The atmosphere of the movie is clean and bright instead of eerie and haunting, and when it's over, you're left with the feeling that you've suffered through ten or twelve heart attacks, but with no real spooky chills down your spine.

    The plot is greatly flawed, suffering from a VERY slow and boring beginning and a rushed ending that fails to explain what exactly happened to the characters. Lots of aspects of the plot (the three shadowy figures, for instance) are left dangling. Also, certain aspects of the EVP images require a suspension of disbelief: Like, how do they appear on the screen? Who frames these shots? A ghost cameraman?

    I gave this movie 3 stars because it does what it's required to do: to scare you, even though it did use cheap scares to do it. I docked 2 stars off due to the movie's inconsistent pacing, thin atmosphere, and unanswered questions at the end.
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    7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars More noise, less cliche February 6, 2005
    White Noise tells the story of widower Jonathan Rivers (Michael Keaton) who is contacted by his late wife using EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). The opening scene is a by the book `meet the happy family' moment that turns sour when Jonathan's wife goes missing. Barring one rather confusing and unexplained plot twist, this formula thriller is as predictable as they come. Like in other slow ghostly suspense films, most recently The Others, Sax tries to characterize his settings as co-conspirators. What he ends up with is about forty minutes of location footage that should have stayed in the scouting binder. Interestingly, Jonathan Rivers is an architect, and there are numerous aerial establishing shots that mirror those small cardboard plans that architects hover over, and the attention Sax lavishes onto Rivers' waterfront home and apartment home borders on the obsessive. Clearly, there was some intent in all this, perhaps to establish `everything' as haunted and ominous, but it fails. Michael Keaton stumbles through the film like a zombie, hitting his lines near the mark if not directly on. His performance is only dull because the character is dull. He falls into the same horror movie traps as they all do, backing into rooms for no reason, persisting ahead despite strange noises and terrible tidings. As a result, White Noise does offer up a few scares. I'll leave the details of the one plot twist out so as not to spoil it for anyone dead set on seeing this film, but like I mentioned before, it doesn't make sense once you think it out. If checking your brain at the door and slow paced suspense films are your cup of tea, then there are worse ways to spend two hours than White Noise, but not many. Sadly, on DVD all the fun cheap scares will be subdued, so if you must see this, try to see it on the big screen.
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