WHITE NOISE

Grade: C+

Starring Michael Keaton, Deborah Kara Unger, Chandra West and Ian McNeice. Directed by Geoffrey Sax. Rated PG-13 (language, violence). In wide release. Runnign time: 110 minutes

‘White Noises’ has good boo! moments, solid acting but lack focus

Once again, people are seeing dead people.

In “White Noise,” Michael Keaton plays an architect who becomes convinced that his murdered wife is trying to communicate with him. Sometimes her efforts are clear, but more often they’re fuzzy.

The same is true of the movie: It’s intentions are well-meaning but director Geoffrey Sax’s execution is so uneven it nulls their impact. Despite the surplus of static, the film is moderately compelling, thanks to Keaton’s accessible performance.

The film comments, sometimes in a cautionary manner, on the prevalence of electronics in our lives.

Keaton plays Jonathan Rivers, the male half of an ideal couple. His architecture is widely appreciated. His wife, Anna (Chandra West), is a celebrated author. They’re deeply in love, and Jonathan, of course, is devastated when Anna becomes the newest victim of a psychopathic murderer.

An eccentric stranger named Raymond Price (Ian McNeice) enters Jonathan’s despondent, widowed existence, claiming to have heard Anna’s voice through Electronic Voice Phenomenon. Known to its intimates as EVP, it’s a process by which the dead allegedly use modern electronic devices to communicate with the living. Anna apparently wants to contact Jonathan so he can help others avoid the psychopath.

All the performances are solid, especially Deborah Kara Unger’s as an EVP advocate who befriends Jonathan. But it’s up to Keaton to carry the film, and he does so effortlessly.

Although Jonathan’s ostensibly a good guy, Keaton’s appearance adds another layer to the movie’s guessing game.

“White Noise” has some good boo! moments and striking visuals. But it never comes fully into focus.

Grade: C+

Rated: PG-13


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