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Sometimes they don't come back alone.
I hated the original White Noise. Sure, it sported a gnarly premise, a
slick teaser trailer and made loads of cash, but at the end of the snore, the
script was akin to a Picasso put to canvas with a paintbrush dipped in dog poop. So, I wasn’t too pumped for this White Noise sequel. The only 2 things that stung my hopes up were: 1-
Dracula Legacy stylist Patrick Luissier was at the helm, with finally a big budget under his belt. 2- Cool as a cucumber
Nathan Fillion was the lead (love that freaking guy). So did I see The Light or what? Surprisingly…YES!
THE LIGHT (I won’t bother calling it White Noise 2, both films have jack squat to do with each other) horror-ed up where it mattered by giving me an appealing protagonist, having a seriously severe (and poignant) tragedy happen to him to then tag me along with his broken ass as he’s launched into a bleaker than bleak quest. What quest? Think Unbreakable, meets Final Destination, gangbangs The Dead Zone and doggies The Eye. That kind baby! Tension filled, boo scare heavy, fairly touching on a human level and efficiently creepy; THE LIGHT went on to deliver a clipped paced and engrossing jamboree that sure knew how to push my "right" buttons, resulting in "Ike Turner -ish" horror back-hands hitting my dumbfounded face.
Throughout the film, I particularly boogied to its knack of playing its
warped game like a vast and mind-numbing puzzle. Every time I thought I had the
shenanigans all figured it out, boom, another bamboozling revelation would
surface to prove me wrong. The flick also liked to plant minute seeds early on
that I didn't think mattered much as to the whole, to then swiftly prompt their
growth down the road and totally take me aback in the process. Groovy! I always
enjoy being surprised and THE LIGHT did just that in spades! And when you "Jenga"
on top of all that loving a slew of heavy hitting plot twists, clever plays on
audience expectations, a sweet/chemistry laced romance and a potent/well
executed mystery, you get a highly stimulating sit down that had me by the
lapels for the most part and just wouldn't let me go.
All that jive wouldn’t have meant much if Luissier’s eye wasn’t up to the task and I’m happy to report that here, the lad did what a solid director/editor should do. Communicate information via striking visuals while managing to pull my heart strings through powerful imagery and arresting editing. Actually, Luissier even took it all a mammoth stab further by randomly going old school DePalma on my ass. One scene in particular totally stood out in that respect and was worth the price of admission alone. I won’t spoil it (much) but lets just say it involved a grand piano, wide shots, slow motion and mucho dead bodies. That tour de force sequence stood out for me like a sore nipple at an SnM dive. It literally blew me the f*ck out my seat while acting as a firm statement as to Luissier’s well honed visual skills. Props man! PROPS!
With all that prayed to Buddha what were its sins then? On a minor level it took a while for the two leads to get cranking to "full on on the ball" performance wise; but I let that go, since the happenings had me hooked, lined and bitch-slapped. Then we had an early awkward scene that tried to force-feed a connection between this film and the first White Noise down my throat. Not only was suspension of disbelief mucho needed but the dialogue at hand was atrocious and the actor doing the Captain Exposition thing sucked Donkey balls to say the least. That sequence should’ve been cut out of the film if you ask me or the girl digging in my lap as I type; thankfully it was a short bit. My more severe peeves with this ringer though had to do with my own individual affinities.
You see on one end the flick was fairly morose (which I dug) but on the other it
often negated that by slapping some tacky “Ghost” type stuff my way. Did I really need to
"see" the tunnel of life? Or witness a heroic "Patrick Swayze like"
transparent ghost saving the day? I didn't, not in this type of genre bon-bon
anyways. I truly felt that the bulk of the movie was "above" the blatant cards
it sometimes played; cards that dumbed it down. Implying as opposed to showing would’ve worked
me better in this case .The same went for the film’s tendency of not going all the way with it darker scenarios. The last block for example had me perfectly set-up for a beating of epic proportions. Unfortunately, it
folded on me at the last minute, hence letting me down. It really felt like there were two films
duking it out here. One was dread filled and brave while the other played
it safe and seeked happy conclusions to everything. An odd vibe.
With that pea-souped all over ya with no towel in sight to save the day, THE LIGHT was still a gripping, moving, technically brilliant and visually stirring effort that had me at hello, kept me there as it sang its tune and semi bummed me out along the way. YOU GONNA WALK INTO THE LIGHT?
THE LIGHT had nothing to do with the original WHITE NOISE, and that was a very good thing. It worked me like a tramp playing the bamboo flute for the most part: I laughed, cried, jumped, wowed (that piano bit…one for the books) and often chewed my seat (good tasting seat) in anticipation. That’s what a good horror film should do no? Yup that “clumsy" expositional scene tying it to the original” useless and I felt that the flick would’ve been better off sticking to one track (light or dark) instead of trying to please everybody. But when all was said and done THE LIGHT gave me a buck and half of worthy and above the norm horror chills and thrills.Don't let the abysmal original scare you off it; give it a whirl!