White Noise

Overview

Divorced architect Jonathan Rivers Michael Keaton seems to lead a pretty good life with partial custody of his young son and a happy second marriage to Anna Chandra West, a best-selling author. Things take an ugly turn when Anna disappears during a thunderstorm, apparently the victim of a freak accident. Eventually, her body is found, and Jonathan sinks into despair. Then he meets Raymond Ian McNeice, who claims that Anna has contacted him through EVP, or electronic voice phenomena. Raymond explains that the dead...
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Overview

Divorced architect Jonathan Rivers Michael Keaton seems to lead a pretty good life with partial custody of his young son and a happy second marriage to Anna Chandra West, a best-selling author. Things take an ugly turn when Anna disappears during a thunderstorm, apparently the victim of a freak accident. Eventually, her body is found, and Jonathan sinks into despair. Then he meets Raymond Ian McNeice, who claims that Anna has contacted him through EVP, or electronic voice phenomena. Raymond explains that the dead can communicate from beyond via static on common electronic equipment like radios and televisions. Jonathan is skeptical until he starts getting phone calls from Anna's inactive cell phone. He visits Raymond, whose home is filled with audio and video monitors and high-tech recording equipment. There he meets Sarah Deborah Kara Unger, who has recently received a farewell message from her late fiancé. Jonathan eventually receives what appears to be a communication from Anna, but soon afterward, Raymond turns up dead. Obsessed with maintaining contact with his late wife, Jonathan visits a psychic Connor Tracy who warns him that he's going down a dangerous path, "meddling" in the affairs of the dead. Undaunted, Jonathan continues to study EVP and eventually finds that he's getting messages from people who haven't died...yet. White Noise was directed by Geoffrey Sax from an original script by Niall Johnson.
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Special Features

Deleted scenes; Hearing is believing: Actual e.v.p. sessions; Making contact: e.v.p. experts; Recording the afterlife at home; Feature commentary with Director Geoffrey Sax and Michael Keaton
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A supposedly demonstrable scientific phenomenon offers the basis for this eerie thriller, which provides Michael Keaton with his best starring role in years. Six months after the mysterious death of his novelist wife, Anna, grieving architect Jonathan Rivers Keaton gets a call from her cell phone -- but the line goes dead before he can determine who was calling. He enlists the aid of an expert in electronic voice phenomenon EVP, an obscure scientific study whose practitioners painstakingly scour the airwaves for messages from the beyond. With the help of another true believer, Sarah Deborah Kara Unger, Jonathan masters the technology and eventually picks up Anna's voice, which leads him to the scene of a gruesome accident -- and to malevolent spirits that resent his intrusion. It's pretty far-out stuff, but Keaton's earnest portrayal of the grief-stricken but hopeful husband grounds the story even when it borders on the ridiculous. The omnipresence of 21st-century technology -- computer screens, cell phones, car radios, and answering machines -- prevents any establishment of the gothic atmosphere that once typified the best ghost stories. But make no mistake about it, the relentlessly modern White Noise is a blood-curdling yarn with echoes of such genre favorites as Poltergeist, The Ring, and The Grudge.
All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Although pitched with a guffaw-inspiring "Based on actual phenomena" marketing campaign, White Noise starts out with a simple and intriguing premise, clearly influenced by contemporary trends in Asian horror. The notion of the dead communicating with us through the static on our electronic equipment has a certain creepily quotidian appeal, but after about a half-hour of slow build, White Noise quickly devolves into ludicrous plotting and cheap shock effects. Director Geoffrey Sax shows adeptness at making an audience jump with shock cuts and loud noises, but this is not a particularly impressive talent. Sustaining disbelief, or at least mere interest in the story would have been more satisfying. It's difficult to explain, without giving away too much of the story, the flaws in logic that seem to occur with increasing rapidity as the film progresses. Suffice to say that the film establishes rules that it then fails to follow, and that the second big scary plot twist that occurs at the climax of the film obviates the need for the existence of the first such twist. While successful Asian horror movies like Ringu, Ju-on, and the genuinely disturbing A Tale of Two Sisters have their own problems with narrative logic, they at least manage to sustain mood and gradually amp up the tension. The most disturbing moment in White Noise (or the scariest moment that doesn't involve a sudden loud noise) is the sequence, apparently rooted in harsh reality, wherein Michael Keaton vainly presses a button on his answering machine, over and over again, only to hear, "You have no messages." It's not really clear why Keaton's career has taken the dismal trajectory it has since he stopped playing Batman, but one would hope such a talented actor could find a better comeback vehicle than this.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/2/2014
  • UPC: 025192184048
  • Original Release: 2005
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 4,112

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Keaton Jonathan Rivers
Chandra West Anna Rivers
Deborah Kara Unger Sarah Tate
Ian McNeice Raymond Price
Sarah Strange Jane
Nicholas Elia Mike Rivers
Mike Dopud Detective Smits
Marsha Regis Police Woman
Brad Sihvon Minister
Mitchell Kosterman Work Man
L. Harvey Gold Business Man
Amber Rothwell Susie Tomlinson
Suzanne Ristic Mary Freeman
Connor Tracy Mirabelle Keegan
Miranda Frigon Car Crash Woman
Aaron Douglas Young Father
Anthony Harrison Doctor
Bruce Dawson Mark
Benita Ha TV Reporter
Anastasia Corbett Young Girl
Micki Maunsell Edith Tomlinson
Ross Birchall Young Boy
Peter Bryant Man
Bill Tarling Presence #1
Chuck Walkinshaw Presence #2
Colin Chapin Presence #3
April Telek John's Secretary
Michale Ascher Woman
Technical Credits
Geoffrey Sax Director
Nick Arthurs Editor
Michael S. Bolton Production Designer
Simon Brooks Executive Producer
Paul Brooks Producer
Claude Foisy Score Composer
Stephen Hegyes Executive Producer
Niall Johnson Screenwriter
Karen Matthews Costumes/Costume Designer
Scott Niemeyer Executive Producer
Richard Coleman Asst. Director
Chris Seager Cinematographer
Jonathan Shore Associate Producer
William Skinner Sound/Sound Designer
Greg Venturi Art Director
Norm Waitt Executive Producer
Maureen Webb Casting
Shawn Williamson Producer
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