Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'White Noise: The Light' (2007)
Captain Hammer, the early years...
You know, this movie wasn't half bad. I'm not sure what it had to do with White Noise, as there was almost zero connection to the original movie. The first movie dealt exclusively with EVP, and this movie basically didn't deal with it at all. I mean, it's kinda in the background, but I feel like the director just didn't understand what white noise EVP phenomenon is.
EVP itself is when 'recordings of the dead' are picked up among the ambient noise. 'White noise' being a slang term for the ambient noise in the background of all recordings. In the first movie, they used the static of TVs to encourage EVP. In this movie, the male lead, played by the immortal Nathan Fillion, is the only one who can hear it. He's like a ghost radio tower. He's not picking up the voices of the dead from the ambient white noise, he's acting as a transmitter. Oh yeah, and he can see the auras of people about to die, which has fuck-all to do with EVP. I just don't understand what any of this has to do with the first movie. I feel like someone just pushed it as a sequel to get the name recognition. That wasn't a very good idea, as the first one was fucking garbage. You can see my review for the original by clicking the link below.
And make no mistake, it's actually a good thing this movie is nothing like the original. Though, I feel like there was no need to abandon format if they wanted this to be a part of the White Noise story line. There was nothing wrong with the over arching premise, the plot just had too many holes. And this sequel easily addressed them. They actually did themselves a disservice by writing something unique and interesting, then trying to tie it in to a garbage film. This film could have stood on its own, and I feel one of the biggest reasons it didn't get much attention is because of how bad the original really was. This movie was far superior in every aspect, with only a few minor complaints.
My major problem is the choppy beginning. Adrian Holmes plays Marty, a close friend of Nathan's character Abraham. He's used as a sort of introductory character for the exposition into Abe's life. This makes him one of the worst McGuffin with legs I've ever seen, wasting an extremely talented black actor. He basically serves no other purpose than to be a convenient excuse for Abe to move from scene A to scene B. The pacing in the beginning of the movie is so rushed, it comes off as forced. Yeah, all of Abe's discoveries and conclusions come by naturally, but they're so quick it kills the delivery. He's constantly jumping around from scene to scene, making discoveries as quickly as falling dominoes. It's a little too much. However, after the rushed exposition of the beginning, the movie basically abandons Marty all together, and Abe starts figuring things out on his own. It just highlights how pointless Marty's character is.
The ending was also pretty lame. I can't get into it without getting into the spoilers, but needless to say, this movie has the same problems with it's anglo-christian themes that a lot of horror movies do. In short, God sets rules, evil exploits rules, mortals get caught in the middle, God does fuck all to fix things. And this is presented as a moral lesson about meddling in God's mysterious way, when actually it just presents God as an absentee father figure and an asshole. Or maybe that's the whole point?! You be the judge.
I'm not sure if Horror Heads are going to like this movie, but I do recommend it for general adult audiences. The themes are pretty solid and relatable.
So, this movie does address some of the plot holes of the first movie by basically retconning them entirely. The ghostly apparitions in this movie are FIRMLY trying to stop Nathan's character Abe from saving people's lives. They have a clear and singular motive, prevent Abe from meddling. What are essentially 'evil' apparitions from the first movie are only there to set things back in balance when Abe manages to save someone. They do this by possessing the person Abe saves them, and has them go on a murderous rampage. This is essentially punishment for Abe meddling in the affairs of life and death. What the movie describes as letting the devil in.
So let's lay this all out end to end. Some guy murders Abe's wife and kids. He did this because he saw 'the light,' saved Abe's wife and kids, then found out they'd be a catalyst for dozens of people dying, and felt forced to kill them to stop it. Abe, having lost his wife and kids, tries to take his own life, and has a near death experience (NDE). The NDE gifts Abe with 'the light' so he can tell when someone is going to die. LIKE ANYONE FUCKING WOULD, he starts saving the lives of the people he knows are going to die. Each of these individuals start murdering dozens of people exactly three days after Abe saves them. Abe tries to stop them, and discovers he can't. Moreover, if he did manage to stop them, that's dozens more people Abe saved that are now going to murder dozens more people three days later. One of these people turns out to be this nurse named Sherry, played by the venerable Katee Sackhoff. Of course, that means she'll go on a murderous rampage too, and the only way to stop her is to kill her (apparently).
So let me get this right?! Some guy, who was given a gift by no fault of his own, tried to use it to save peoples lives, because he's not a calloused monster, and if he uses that gift, the devil gets to posses the people he's saved, murder dozens of others in the name of 'balance,' and this is punishment for meddling in the affairs of life and death. Yeah, God really showed him...
And that brings us to the ending. Say it with me now, best Morbo impersonation! "THERE WERE NO SURVIVORS!!!" Really, this movie should have ended with Abe putting a bullet in Sherry, and the police gunning Abe down. Boom, movie over! But no, they absolutely had to end it with suspense. Abe doesn't manage to shoot Sherry, but still gets gunned down by the police. Sherry gets hauled off in an ambulance, and starts freaking out. Her episode distracts the driver of an ambulance who starts to B-line a jackknifed tanker truck blocking a loaded passenger buss. But suddenly, ghost Abe shows up, kills Sherry, and then diverts the ambulance from hitting the tanker truck. Excuse me what?! What the fuck was that?! What the fuck just happened?! If the ghosts from this movie could have done that the whole fucking time, WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T THEY JUST KILL THE PEOPLE ABE SAVED?!?
Anywho, aside from the sloppy opening and the silly ending, it actually was a pretty good movie! Give it a shot!