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Film / White Noise

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A 2005 supernatural horror thriller directed by Geoffrey Sax that stars Michael Keaton as an architect whose desire to talk to his wife from beyond the grave that has supernatural repercussions.

The movie also stars Deborah Kara Unger, Chandra West, Ian McNeice, Keegan Connor Tracy, Sarah Strange, and Mitchell Kosterman.

It was released on January 7, 2005, and received a surprisingly good direct-to-DVD sequel, White Noise: The Light, which starred Nathan Fillion and Katee Sackhoff.

Not to be confused with the novel White Noise, which was itself adapted into a film White Noise (2022) in 2022.

Tropes for the film:

  • The Call Has Bad Reception: Jonathan is able to make contact with his dead wife, Anna, who he thinks is telling him about future tragedies in order to stop them. This belief is strengthened by the fact that she says things like "go now" and "leave now" after hearing and seeing future tragedies. In this one, the Call has bad reception, as it turns out that Anna is saying to go away from her now, and to leave her where she is, as Jonathan's interference in the nether realm has allowed malevolent spirits to track him down and target him.
  • Electromagnetic Ghosts: The film is about "electromagnetic voice phenomena", where voices from beyond appear on audio and video recordings.
  • Phone Call from the Dead: Jonathan Rivers receives messages from his dead wife through the static on television sets and radios. It's implied that it wasn't his wife but a more sinister ghostly entity.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Once John begins experimenting with EVP (a way of listening to/seeing spirits in the beyond) on his own, he starts receiving messages from Sarah, believing them ways to save people. They're really trick visions sent by three very, very malicious spirits so that they can follow him and break into the realm of the living through the door he's opened up. And Anna's constant insistence of he "Go Now!"? Those were visions of when he arrived at the final location the messages showed him, where she was trying to warn him to get away and save himself. "Exactly as planned" indeed.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The trailer for the movie opened with a minute-long explanation of EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) complete with "real" examples of the phenomena (which were actually made up) in an attempt to sell the audience on the film.