White Noise 2 : The Light (2007)

White Noise 2: The Light is mediocre. It shamelessly pilfers ideas from many better films and fails to be scary in any way, but it’s a watchable, intriguing little thriller that neither challenges nor upsets. With some decent acting and a couple of awesome set pieces, it’s tolerable stuff.

In a bizarre and brutal start, the son and wife of Abe Dale (Nathan Fillion) are gunned down in a café by a sad-looking Henry Caine (Craig Fairbrass), who then apologises to Abe and promptly shoots himself in the face.

Three months later and Abe’s become a dirty cliché, watching old home movies and drinking heavily, blaming himself for his family’s death, for absolutely no discernable reason. On one dark night, Abe downs numerous bottles of pills and alcohol and commits suicide. Succeeding admirably, Abe is brought back to life by E.R. doctors, and dragged reluctantly away from his wife & child as they stand in the white tunnel of light, hoping for his return.

Back to life and still very depressed, Abe starts to see and hear things no one else can. Cruel faces in the static on television screens, yells of anguish on the radio, and an angelic glow around people who are just about to die.

Like an incredibly pedestrian version of the Final Destination franchise, we know who is “next” and then watch Abe attempt to save them from whatever attack or accident is about to occur. He sees this as a gift from God, but all is not as it seems… and Abe soon finds himself fighting against something altogether more horrible in a desperate attempt to save people from death’s clutches…

Although this might sound like a decent concept, if not horrifically unoriginal, it is so badly constructed that it kicks subtlety straight in the ball-bags and violently head-butts sense to death. Straight away our suicide attempting Abe is given the zany, medically-challenged doctor who happens to be an “expert” on near death experiences…. rather than a counselor, like most patients should probably see after trying to kill themselves. Oddly, Dr Karras has a grant to play around with this totally unscientific nonsense as long “as they don’t know what it is”.

Throughout White Noise 2 there are baffling, conclusion-jumping pieces of research, ludicrous plotting and some unbelievable faith-jumping decisions that make you pray Abe’s actually having a mental breakdown.

What’s more is that is isn’t actually scary. What could have been gradually terrifying instead becomes a screamingly obvious, utterly unsubtle scare-athon that is so blindingly in-your-face it’s hard to believe any of it. There a moments of genuine tension, followed by substandard scares that frustrate incredibly. This is no huge surprise, coming from Director Patrick Lussier, who is responsible for the shameful likes of Prophecy 3, Dracula 2000 and My Bloody Valentine 3D.

White Noise 2: The Light is also almost entirely bloodless – even when a man gets hit by a train! It feels like the studio were perhaps aiming for a lower rating and failed miserably to get it – ending up at the middling awkward lower-level fifteen rating.

The lesson in White Noise 2 is probably “never mess with Death”, or Death’s “plan” as the Final Destination franchise likes to call it. It’s a truly archaic and obvious idea, but despite this it is actually deftly executed in a number of places. It is twisting, in a good way, and develops some decent characters and subplots throughout, although never quite hits any decent conclusions.

A couple of really effective moments makes this peak above being distinctly average – especially the piano recital that goes horrifically wrong – but mostly it’s expected and relatively dull stuff.

For some, the pull of Nathan Fillion might be enough, but he has little to work with, losing his usual sarcastic charm and warmth behind a wall of mourning, confusion and misplaced moral righteousness. There is good support from the truly loveable Katee Sackhoff and from Craig Fairbrass, in a surprisingly compelling role. It’s not enough to rescue the general mess that is White Noise 2, but it’s worthy of note.

Ripping off everything from Final Destination to The Eye, White Noise 2: The Light never quite becomes its own movie. At times it can be intriguing, smart, sharp, shocking and watchable, but mostly it is dull, expected, head-scratchingly dumb and swimming in the bowels of exploded cliché.

Fast forward the DVD to the “piano scene” [01:08:59 – 01:12:30], because the rest of the film isn’t greatly worth your time…

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.