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Saturday, February 18, 2012

White Noise 2: The Light

Now I would normally never watch something like this, even with someone like Nathan Fillion in the lead. It's a sequel to a crappy 2000's horror film, there is no way it can be decent right? What if it was essentially a completely different movie, with some kind of similar supernatural phenomena as the only ties? It basically distances itself as much from the awful original and becomes something definitely above average. With decent leads, a decent script, and a fairly original idea it definitely results in a watchable film, though it is dragged down somewhat by the style of film-making that was so popular in the mid 2000's, which is difficult to describe but is kind of annoying, something about the camera angles or colors or something.

It begins with the murder of the protagonist's wife and son by some guy for seemingly no reason, who then promptly shoots himself in the face. Another thing I like about the film is there is no real big twist or anything like that, Bruce Willis was not dead the whole time or anything, though there is a slow revelation about what exactly is happening. In the end it's not perfectly explained either, no scientific or voodoo explicit discussion, kind of similar to the Exorcist in that way. He sees dead people, and can also see people about to die, which would be an awful super power, there is a comment about it in the film, and it really would suck, knowing all these people are about to die, and being unable to prevent it.

It also has similarities to Dead Like Me, with the reapers. No one can save these people, it is the whole hourglass thing, once the sand runs down your time is up, and extra time does not end well for anyone, often resulting in the deaths of many more. Nathan makes a good tragic hero, in that you know it'll end badly, because there are so many similarities between him and the murderer of his wife and son that even though the film draws the comparison numerous times it is really unnecessary, one of the small problems with the film is that it ditches subtlety fairly early on, though there are still some cool background images of the anti-cross thing.

I can see why people like the film, because the whole idea behind is interesting, if kind of a mash up of the Sixth Sense and Dead Like Me, with some diner scenes that gave me some weird Pulp Fiction vibes, though without Samuel L. Jackson. Now I guess there are a few other minor complaints, like the romance between the two leads up there in the picture seems fairly forced, with her falling head over heels for him upon meeting him, in the position of her as his nurse. Also this thing is classed as a horror because it has a bunch of jump scares, all the same dead people jump out unexpectedly!  A little surprising the first time, though none of the like 10 times afterwards. Decent makeup on the dead guys though, so that looks fairly decent, as does all the CGI and few other practical effects in the film. It still has the weird blue tint that films love so much, but it is easily ignorable.

I enjoyed the film despite the little missteps, definitely very unexpected due to the nature of sequels. I suppose Nathan Fillian is in a lot of these smaller projects, and Joss Whedon's stuff, and he generally does decent work, so maybe it shouldn't be so surprising. The ending worked for what it was, and wasn't even that bitter sweet, even with the main character's death. In summation since this will just be a quickie, the film has good ideas, a good cast, and is in general a shitty horror, but a decent movie otherwise, with reminders of better films but enough good in it to stand on its own.

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