Movie Review: The Sound (aka Paranormal: White Noise)

Synopsis: A debunker of supernatural occurances, McGowan must investigate a series of hauntings in a disused underground station. However, there’s a message in the White Noise, if you care to listen.

Director: Jenna Mattison

Starring: Rose McGowan, Christopher Lloyd

Review: When I first saw this on Netflix, it was called ‘Paranormal: White Noise’ so I thought it was part of the paranormal activity films which put me off (I liked the first one but the rest? Nah, not for me). Then I saw Rose McGowan was the star (I often find her wooden but loved her delicious take on Conan), Christopher Lloyd (ok, he peaked with Back to the Future imo but is always watchable) and Stephen McHattie (star of one of my personal fave horror movies, Pontypool) were starring so thought I’d give it a go.

The short review? I should have stuck to my original thought and avoided it.

McGowan plays a supernatural ‘debunker’ who uses pithy, floating hashtags to explain her inner thought process. What was a fun effect in the tv show Sherlock is quickly overused and annoying here. I’m never sure what to expect from McGowan as an actress – I either find her revelling in her character (Grindhouse, Conan) or being very one-dimensional (Black Dahlia amongst others) and it was the latter here. She wasn’t the only tree in the movie though with the majority of the cast woodenly delivering their lines. Lloyd managed to emit some sadness, probably that he’d agreed to appear at all, in the few short scenes he was in,.

The concept was interesting: that ‘supernatural’ occurrences were actually low-level sound waves. Given that sound and pressure are often discussed in hauntings it was a promising idea but relying solely on sound waves the audience can’t hear became boring very quickly and led to more hash-tagging from McGowan to explain what was happening. 

As a slight aside which really annoyed me, McGowan is underground, deep underground, in a disused station, yet was able to tweet and make calls on her mobile. Given I struggle to get a phone signal above ground some days (yay, rural living!) it was one of many unbelievable factors of the movie. Also, how good is her laptop? At best, my much-loved Apple laptop manages an hour of battery life, whilst hers keeps going all night, despite ‘low sounds’ supposedly draining batteries more quickly. Is it powered on pixie dust? If so, how do I get some as my battery’s about to die faster than my interest in this movie.

Written, directed and produced by Jenna Mattison I really wanted to like this movie but there sadly wasn’t anything original in it, the acting was really poor and the directing competent but not outstanding. 


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