White Noise Geoffrey Sax

Michael Keaton's career is a coloured one, with credits ranging from Batman to Mr. Mom. One of his latest endeavours sells out the world of Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) exploration, a real life form of paranormal investigation involving the digital recording of otherworldly voices. White Noise essentially preys upon the baseless fear of television static that was planted into society's subconscious by Poltergeist (thanks a lot, Tobe Hooper!). The story follows Jonathan Rivers (Keaton), an architect who becomes obsessed with these faceless messages after his wife is killed in a car accident. Convinced he has heard the voice of his beloved from beyond the grave, Rivers begins searching for answers, only to discover that dead people can sometimes be jerks. Complete with ghoulish figures lurking in the background and ghostly on-screen appearances that sporadically turn very aggressive, the effects are enjoyable and add to the unrelenting eeriness of the film. Sadly, the story is not presented well enough to capture interest and a number of plot holes detract from the film's believability. The special features are unique, with a documentary-style focus on modern day psychics testing out the validity of EVP. Unfortunately these segments come across as propaganda for the film and are only giving the illusion that EVP is a scientifically-proven phenomenon. The sad reality is that these EVP examples are nothing more than crackles and pops that have been "interpreted" as voices by the overactive imaginations of people desperately wishing that their deceased family members were still alive. Overall, White Noise is just not an overly exciting release, mostly because the whole concept of EVP is absurd. After all, if Michael Keaton's movies have taught us anything about death, it's that we are reincarnated as creepy-looking snowmen, not glitches on a tape recorder. Plus: commentary. (Columbia/Sony)