I always try to watch films in sequence, rarely seeing a sequel before the original. In this case, however, the first White Noise (from 2005) didn’t really interest me in the slightest. I’m normally a fan of horror, but for some reason I couldn’t be bothered. Saying that, the only reason I chose to watch the sequel, White Noise 2: The Light, was because of Nathan Fillion. I’ve become a big fan of his lately and I was interested to see if he could pull off a film like this, a second-tier January release. Turns out he made the film watchable, but just barely.
Nathan Fillion is a good actor when given good material (or given the freedom to improvise). Slither is an excellent example: many of the funniest lines in that film are a result of improvisation. I get the feeling that White Noise 2: The Light takes itself far too seriously (and as a result, is made unintentionally hilarious). There were several moments during my screening when I laughed out loud at some of the dialogue or situations.
The premise of the film is interesting, though not terribly original. The bulk of the plot was lifted from a Nickelback music video, of all places, with a few modifications. I won’t go too far into the story (for the one or two people out there interested in seeing this film for the plot), but basically Fillion’s character can tell when people are about to die. The problem with The Light is that his ability seems to be wholly dependent on the plot. He only sees what the film needs him to see in order to advance the story, resulting in a film that feels quite arbitrary.
The editing and visual style are decent, but nothing terribly new or special. In fact, some of the visual effects are borderline amateurish. Filmmakers can do a lot with low budgets now and there’s no excuse for amateur effects. I get the feeling that the director was exceptionally proud of one death sequence, which is why we see it 3 or 4 times, from various camera angles.
White Noise 2: The Light wasn’t a horrible film, but it wasn’t a good film, either. Had it not been for Fillion’s better-than-average performance, it would’ve been completely forgettable. As it stands, The Light is only marginally forgettable. Save yourself some tedium and go watch Slither; see for yourself how good an actor Nathan Fillion can be.