White Noise (2005) may be the worst movie ever. But really, even that distinction is too much credit. I found it literally unwatchable, and tuned in only infrequently primarily because I wanted to know what the punchline was.
So what's the payoff after watching Michael Keaton (continuing his long, slow, post-"Mr. Mom" decline) stare at white noise? It turns out that his wife is actually dead, and her ghost is trying to help save the latest victim of demonically inspired torture.
How did this movie ever get the green light? Didn't someone question at some point the entertainment value of showing white noise for a large chunk of screen time? Or the fact that the resolution is completely ridiculous and uninteresting (although partly moving - Keaton's character sacrafices himself to save a strange woman)?
Unlike Flightplan, who's plot could have been tweaked a bit, keeping the bulk of the film intact, there was nothing to salvage here, save perhaps a bit of mood. Even the set design was noticably jarring (too clever for it's own good).
Michael Keaton is one of my least favorite lead actors, primarily because of the hasty way in which he speaks. He seems to stumple over his words, and that conveys an aggravating sense of unreliability that is death to the success of any dramatic leading man.
Worst of all, there is literally nothing to learn from this movie, either about the human condition or about the art of movie-making itself (aalthough it is an excellent tutorial on how NOT to do set-design). A man's wife goes missing. The man is sad. The man notices strange electronic things. He hears and sees her in white noise. He gets a little obsessed with watching white noise. The dead wife tells him he has to do something, urgently, cryptically. He figures it out, does the deed, and dies. End movie.
The only message I could think of is, if you're loved one is dead, let them go. If they're coming back to haunt you, it's either an elaborate con, or they mean you no good. Death is a very useful tool for teaching wisdom, and any skirting around that is actually a disservice to the living. Something tells me this is not what the filmmakers wanted to say!