White Noise: The Light (2007)
Starring Nathan Fillion, Katee Sackhoff, Ed Anders
Directed by Patrick Lussier
It seems odd watching White Noise: The Light as it feels like it was thrown into theatres like an unwanted child. Universal still doesn’t know what to do with it in the US, and the UK marketing only started about two weeks before its release, so going into it I was expecting a pretty bad movie. Thankfully this time I was wrong.
The plot involves Abe Dale (Fillion), who witnesses his wife and son being murdered. Three months later the grief is too much to handle, and he tries to kill himself. Technically he dies but is brought back to life by doctors … and he brings something back with him. He begins seeing a light around people who are about to die and intervenes, saving them, but he soon learns there’s a price to pay for tampering with fate.
As you may guess, the plot doesn’t really have much to do with the original movie; I don’t think it’s even mentioned or referenced once. But that’s all right, as the main thing I liked about The Light was that the story was involving; I was very interested to see where it was going. It helps that Nathan Fillion is a great lead; he plays a serious character this time around, not cracking wise like we’ve seen in Serenity or Slither, and he hits all the right emotional notes. Katee Sackhoff does a good job as the love interest Abe saves and is easy on the eyes. Director Patrick Lussier manages well behind the camera, delivering some good visuals throughout, even if it is riddled with musically timed jump scares.
But this sequel is far from perfect. Though there was some suspense to be had, usually wondering how characters might bite it after we see the light shine around them, and some of the setups where quite good, I thought it was honestly too light for the amount of stuff that’s happening. And even though the performances were good across the board, quite a bit of dialogue came across as corny. I couldn’t believe some of the things these characters we saying with a straight face.
Though White Noise: The Light had some good visuals as previously mentioned, it got to a point where it was overdone. After a while I got fed up with seeing ghosts appear out of nowhere for no reason other then to give a cheap boo scare. There are some unintentionally hilarious moments; the scene with the bum on the train track had the whole theatre laughing. Assuming it ever comes out in the U.S. you’ll see what I mean.
Even though some scenes felt like filler, the pacing kept along at a good clip so I was never bored with it. The actual plot was a little confusing at times, but that would likely be fixed with another viewing. My main gripe with The Light would probably have to be the ending as it was pretty disappointing. I was hoping for a more emotional ending then what was delivered. Lussier decided to go for more of an action/CGI finale to top the film off, and it just felt cheesy and out of place.
Overall I have to say that White Noise: The Light is a better movie than the original. It does have its problems, but it’s worth checking out and doesn’t deserve the treatment Universal seem to be giving it in the US. It’s a lot better than you might think!
3 out of 5
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