The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

‘White Noise’ lackluster

Keaton struggles as lead in thriller

“White Noise” is a movie that gives itself more credit than it deserves. The movie is based on the premise of Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP), a phenomenon most people are not familiar with. EVP is defined as “the process by which the dead, through sound and image, communicate with living through the static and white noise of modern electronic devices,” according to “White Noise” production material.

“White Noise” tries to educate moviegoers about the phenomenon and its ill effects. That’s mistake number one.

Jonathan Rivers (Michael Keaton) is a man with everything: a beautiful wife Anna (Chandra West), a son and a career in architecture that allows him to live comfortably. Sound familiar? Thought so.

Anyway, familiarities aside, Rivers’ life gets turned upside down by the death of his wife. Enter Raymond Price (Ian McNeice), an EVP buff. Price offers a way for Rivers to get in touch with his deceased wife. Rivers tries to resist the opportunity Price has given him, but gives in. Thus, mistake number two.

From here, three shadows take over as the villains. Apparently, they live within the EVP dimension in radios and televisions, and show Rivers images of their next plot which he must try to stop. Rivers’ wife is the good within the EVP dimension and tries to help him along the way.

So, Rivers is forced to play hero throughout the movie. Where’s the Batsuit when Keaton needs it?

The movie really falls apart while Keaton is trying to play the hero because it becomes so far-fetched. Additionally, this movie takes too many of its cues from the successfully scary “The Ring.”

The shadows are not scary, Keaton is unconvincing and the premise of this movie comes unraveled faster than a sweater snagged on barbed wire.

During a press stop in Dallas recently, Keaton said he “just thought [the writer] made it up,” referring to EVP. This shows in Keaton’s performance. He did eventually discover it was “real”, shortly after production began.

Keaton believes the film is “well-written.”

Keaton also said that in the future he would like to do another “Beetlejuice.”

“I want to do another ‘Beetlejuice,’” he said. “And the only way to do it is with Tim Burton.

“I would just make the time to do it.”

As for his current flick, Keaton said he thinks the subject matter of “White Noise” was “just really intriguing.”

Producer Paul Brooks said he was curious as to what kind of response the movie would draw when it comes to EVP.

“It’s based on something that’s been going on for years,” he said. “It will be interesting to see in a year what the cultural impact of EVP will be.”

I think it’s safe to say after seeing the movie most people won’t be tuning into static. Then again, static may be more interesting than “White Noise.”

“White Noise” opened Jan. 7. It is rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and language. The run time for “White Noise” is 101 minutes.

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