White Noise

January 9, 2005 | Bad Science, Movie Review | By: Mark VandeWettering

I haven’t done a movie review in quite some time, but I did manage to get out with my better half to see White Noise, starring actors Michael Keaton, Chandra West, Debra Unger and Ian McNiece.

The film begins with the tragic death of author Anna Rivers under mysterious circumstances. Her husband, Jonathan Rivers, is distraught, but begins to receive strange phone calls from his dead wife’s cell phone. He then meets Raymond Price, a self-made psychic investigator who uses EVP, or electronic voice phenomena, to contact the dead. Rivers becomes obsessed with trying to contact Anna and to resolve the situation surrounding her death.

The problem is that it isn’t always safe to talk to the dead.

To give much more of the plot would probably give away too much, but I’ll just say this: while the performances were credible, I really didn’t find the movie that scary, nor did I find the use of EVP to be in anyway critical or central to the story. It could have just been a conventional ghost story, and it would have been just as effective. I give the movie about a C+: no nightmares or glancing over my shoulder as I exit into the dark parking lot.

By the way, EVP is something that some people take very seriously, including concerns about its safety, although they note:

We believe that working with EVP and ITC is fundamentally safe. It is difficult to find a single example in which an individual has been harmed because of their communication across the veil. Yes, people have occasionally been “bothered.” It is known that the time we spend carefully listening too hard to hear EVP examples seems to enhance our clairvoyant and clairaudient senses. To many people, this is exciting and something they want. To others, it can be disturbing. This enhanced sensing has been reported to fade if one takes a break from EVP or other development work.