FEBRUARY 16, 2008
Assuming I ever got off my ass and finished writing/uploading all of the reviews from February of 2007 (this blog began in April or May of 2007), there would still be a missing entry for February 16th. I was traveling, and being new to the whole thing, I had yet to make seeing a daily movie an almost effortless occurrence. But anyway, that means that the second White Noise 2 reached its nonsensical conclusion, I had officially gone 365 days in a row of horror movie watching. Yay me!
White Noise 2 was surprisingly watchable, no worse (or better) than the original, so I’m not sure why they didn’t at least give it a chance in theaters. Then again, between One Missed Call and The Eye, everything WN2 covered was already bombing in theaters, so shipping it off to Blockbuster was probably a wise move. The film’s two stars are more known for their small screen efforts anyway. Strangely, they both have a lot in common – quick, which one is known for starring in a cult sci-fi show, having a brief villainous role on a revival TV show about a tough female fighter, and being in a really bad Dimension movie: Nathan Fillion or Katee Sackhoff?* And I must admit, it was nice to see a scene where a character uses the internet and he uses Yahoo!, not GenericWebSearch.com. Seems to me that it would make a lot more sense to just ask Yahoo or whoever to use their image in the film (possibly get a few bucks for the use while they are at it) rather than design a distracting and ridiculous fake one.
Unlike Boogeyman 2 and some other DTV sequels of late, this one doesn’t even try to tie itself to the original; they don’t even have the requisite newspaper article with a file photo of the original’s star accompanied by some helpful exposition (“this guy had the same problem as you. Now he’s dead!”) that is synonymous with these type of sequels. But I guess it sort of makes sense, since this movie doesn’t really follow the same themes as the original. Fillion sees EVP on living people and tries to prevent their deaths, instead of Keaton watching static for ghosts and solving mysteries. So, yeah, this movie doesn’t really feature a lot of “white noise”. But I guess “Goofy Light Ray Filters Surrounding People That Only Our Hero Can See 2” would be a really stupid title.
The one thing it DOES share in common with the original is the presence of an actor who can almost make anything interesting. I’ve long claimed that Fillion could be the next Harrison Ford, but the problem is no one is going to give him a Star Wars (well, they tried to) or an Indiana Jones to put him on that level. It’s a shame to see him more or less wasted on nonsense like this and in thankless guest starring roles on Desperate Housewives and Lost (where the lucky sod played Kate’s husband – and even that wasn’t enough for me to even slightly dislike the guy). Sackhoff, on the other hand, should stick to Battlestar, because between this and Halloween: Resurrection I think it’s safe to say that whenever she plays a perky girly girl, she simultaneously plays the most annoying person on the face of the planet.
Two hundred paragraphs or so I mentioned The Eye: a film that also featured someone with the ability to prevent death. They also share a director, one Patrick Lussier, who reshot half the fhe other film after Lionsgate had problems with the original cut. And watching this film makes his contributions to The Eye all the more apparent; the guy has a serious hardon for symmetric tracking shots like this:
There are probably a dozen others, and there are just as many in The Eye. Maybe it's just some sort of Kubrickian homage, but the problem is he uses them so often they become a distraction, and the bulk of the movie is otherwise pretty standard (no fancy camera tricks and such), so they stick out even more than they should. And, much like his film Dracula 2000 (which featured Fillion in a small role – see how this all comes full circle?), WN2 has a lot of ridiculous religious ties. Granted, nothing in this film (or any other film, really) could ever hope to be as gloriously stupid as the idea that Dracula was in fact Judas Iscariot, but Lussier’s peculiar obsession grinds this movie to a halt when Fillion begins reading the Bible (out loud to himself, of course) and making numerology connections to Latin phrases involving Lucifer. Apparently, in addition to being the root of all evil, the Devil really enjoys coded logic puzzles. And, like any movie that features spiritual deadlines (everyone dies on the 3rd day of their being saved), the process is far too exact – I would think both God AND the Devil have better things to do than ensure that someone dies exactly 72 hrs to the minute after they were saved. It’s not quite as ridiculous as the Devil’s need to impregnate a woman by midnight in End of Days (“is that Eastern time?”), but it's still pretty silly.
There are a bunch of extras, including the most spoiler-filled “Making of” featurette I’ve ever seen on a DVD. Usually these things are promotional, not informative, so it’s strange to see one that shows a major character’s demise from the end of the film alongside all of the usual “fun” fluffy bullshit. There are also 30 minutes of extended/deleted scenes (most of them are worthless extensions, and on two or three of them I couldn’t even tell the difference) and a goofy piece about Fillion and some super cute PA chick walking around the allegedly haunted hospital where part of the movie was filmed. Finally, there’s a 20 minute segment on “real life” near death victims, all of whom apparently live in Seattle (the movie was shot in Canada, so your guess is as good as mine).
Oh and then there’s this guy, the fake Zach Braff:
Well, whatever. No one rents White Noise 2 expecting to be blown away. Fillion’s inherent charm is enough to keep the film watchable, and it’s nice to see him play “dark” for a change, but beyond that it’s nothing that will change your mind about the White Noise franchise.. Someone get the guy a good script, please?
What say you?
*Fillion was in Firefly, Buffy (the show, not the movie), and Dimension's Dracula 2000, Sackhoff is in Battlestar Galactica, the short lived Bionic Woman revamp, and Dimension's Halloween: Resurrection. Reaching? Maybe. But I like to demonstrate my worthless ability to make such connections.