Articles

Movie Renter's Guide Number 154 - January, 2008 - Part III

ARTICLE INDEX

"White Noise" (HD DVD)

movie-white-noise-hd.jpgSynopsis

When architect Jonathan Rivers loses his wife in a tragic accident, he turns to the shadowy, unnerving world of Electronic Voice Phenomenon - communication from beyond the grave. But as he begins to penetrate the mysteries of EVP, Jonathan makes a shocking discovery: once a portal to the other world is opened, there's no telling what will come through it.

 

Specifications

  • Universal, 2004, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 38 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • English Dolby True HD 5.1
  • English/French DD 5.1
  • Directed by Geoffrey Sax
  • Starring Michael Keaton, Deborah Kara Unger, Chandra West, Ian McNeice
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

I avoided this one at the theaters as the trailers didn’t do much for me and it looked like a weak attempt to penetrate the ghost market that had been getting a lot of attention lately from Japanese horror remakes. I didn’t care for the first part of this film but the middle ground actually ended up being quite good. The film does a good job of keeping the creepiness up and tension high. Unfortunately things fall apart fast in the very last act and what could have been a pretty solid thriller ends on a pretty low note. It is too bad the production couldn’t have been tightened up on the bookends.

Technical

Universal has been quite hit or miss lately with catalog releases and I was hoping for the best on this one. Thankfully, they delivered. The image has a very consistent quality to it and detail is exceptional. There are no signs of edge enhancement or compression artifacts and the image retains a very dimensional quality from beginning to end. There were a few longer shots that were a tad on the flat side, but they were very few and far between. Blacks are solid and shadow detail is consistently good. One of the better catalog releases from Universal.

The soundtrack is presented in lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and is pretty much a major character of this film. The sound design is quite good here and I was really impressed with the dynamics and range of the soundtrack. The front soundstage is quite open and very effective at creating mood. Some nice discrete surround work adds a lot to the ambience as well. There are plenty of moments that will get your goose bumps going or even get you to jump a bit. While not the best horror soundtrack I’ve heard, this one is quite solid and a good time.

Extras

Universal has ported over the DVD supplements for this release including a feature commentary, deleted scenes, a look at E.V.P. with real “specialists” and a look at some “real” E.V.P. recordings.