Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Nathan Fillion, Katee Sackhoff, Adrian Holmes, William MacDonald, Craig Fairbrass
Directed by Patrick Lussier
Distributed by Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Back in 2005 Universal dropped a pretty flaccid ghost flick on us called White Noise. Here was a film whose trailer ended up being much better and scarier than the film itself. Unfortunately neither Michael Keaton nor all the real E.V.P. (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) in the world could keep this slow moving spook-fest afloat. Here we are three years later, and lo and behold we have a sequel that no one in their right mind should expect anything from. Good thing for us director Patrick Lussier and star Nathan Fillion had other plans.
White Noise 2 bears no resemblance to its predecessor. In fact the original film isn’t referenced a single time. For us this is a very good thing. It helps to wash that bad taste out of the old mouth, ya know?
After watching his family brutally murdered, Abe Dale (Fillion) decides to throw in the towel via overdose. In fact, he’s taking that long cruise down the tunnel to the afterlife when his soul is snapped back into his body by some pesky doctors and nurses. Much to his chagrin, Abe finds himself back in the land of the living, but something has changed. His body is now a receiver of sorts for messages from the dead. Yep, the white noise in this flick isn’t just coming from T.V.’s or voice recorders. It’s all around him, all of the time. One of his newfound abilities is being able to tell when someone is going to die by his/her aura. If he so chooses, he can follow these sinisterly glowing folks and prevent their deaths. In a sense, Abe has the choice of whether or not to play god. Being the nice guy that he is, he saves a few folks. There’s just one thing … just like we found out in the Final Destination flicks, you shouldn’t mess with death’s design.
I’m not going to give away any more, but suffice it to say White Noise 2 has some surprisingly pretty cool tricks up its sleeve. Lussier has become well versed in the ways of the good direct-to-video sequel, and while not perfect, this flick does supply some jarring scares, creepy atmosphere, and some nasty, nasty spirits. Not bad at all and worth a watch to some if only to see Starbuck and Mal in the same movie. If you get that reference, then you know what I mean.
Also on the good side of the fence is the supplemental material. Things kick off with twelve deleted scenes that make up about an extra half an hour’s worth of material. Nothing stellar here, and honestly, if you skipped right to the three featurettes, you wouldn’t be missing much. Speaking of which, the first fifteen-minute featurette entitled Exploring Near-Death Experiences is really interesting stuff. In it we hear from six people who have had near-death experiences and (obviously) lived to tell about it. How much you buy into this sort of thing is up to you, but one thing’s for sure: It makes for some thought-provoking viewing. Next up we have your standard eight-minute making-of featurette, from which by now you should know exactly what to expect, and then things are topped off with the third and best featurette in the package — a six-minute featurette called Journey into Madness. For the hospital scenes in White Noise 2, Lussier and company filmed in a reputedly haunted mental asylum, Canada’s most notorious psychiatric institution, The Weyburn Mental Hospital, which we get a tour of courtesy of the ever-so-funny Fillion. Some of his fans may find his character in White Noise 2 to be as far away from as his normal wise-cracking self as humanly possible, but one watch of this, and you’re reminded just how likable this dude really is. My only complaint? I wish this featurette were longer. Hell, a Lussier/Fillion commentary would have been nice, too, but I guess ya just can’t have everything.
Here’s the bottom line … Don’t let the insipid mediocrity of the original film stop you from checking out the sequel. Though it drags at times, White Noise 2 manages to showcase some decent acting, a solid storyline, and most of all, spooky fun. No one is more shocked by this than me.
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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