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By Paul J. Salamoff | May 17, 2005

I remember being completely enthralled by the Teaser Trailer for “White Noise.” Not only was it different in its marketing approach (It explained the EVP Phenomenon and used sound design to highten the mood), it was eerie and gave me goosebumps.

Then there’s the movie.

“The Lifetime Channel presents: White Noise” would probably have been a more accurate title. To call this movie soft and plodding would be an understatement. Nothing about it was particularly scary nor interesting for that matter. It was more warm and cuddly. Evidently the filmmakers felt that beating us over the head with the same droll scenes one after the other would pass for entertainment. The movie was just plain boring with characters taking everything at face value.

Also for a movie purportedly about EVP it really doesn’t utilize it to its best advantage. The whole phenomenon becomes barely a plot device and its use rip offs movies like “The Ring” and “Pulse” instead of creating a unique take more suited for the subject matter.

Ironically, the Featurettes on the DVD do more to point out the flaws in the narrative than enhance them. They also contradict vital information. For instance, Tom and Lisa Butler, the EVP researchers, say that they have never encountered an aggressive or threatening message from the beyond, yet at the end of the film a text block boldly claims that “of the many thousand of documented EVP messages approximately 1 in 12 have been overtly threatening in nature.”

I understand that a certain amount of poetic license is required when telling a fictional story, especially one that deals with supernatural events, but the movie makes us believe that all you need to do is turn to channel 1 on your TV anytime you want to talk with the dead. Hell, if it was that easy John Edwards would be s**t out of luck.

Ultimately, the documentaries are fascinating and fun, but they were highly reminiscent of the kind that play ad naseum on the Discovery channel. My other complaint is that it would have been interesting to hear what the skeptics have to say about EVP. I understand that they “want you to believe,” but when you’re producing documentaries that are supposed to deal with the “actual” phenomenon, a healthy does of skepticism would add the much needed perspective.

The featurette entitled “Recording the Afterlife at Home” did however make me curious enough to try to record some EVP myself. After following the instructions to the letter (I even hooked it up to my computer so I could filter the sound properly) I actually got a message from beyond.

It said “rent…don’t buy…”

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