Most ghost stories play on our belief, however subconscious, that the spirit world really does exist, and some films in this genre are more determined to prove the existence of ghosts than others. For some Christians, this is reason enough to avoid such films altogether, but others, like myself, would argue that it is still possible to find something of value in supernatural thrillers, even when they don't conform to a specifically biblical view of the afterlife. The Sixth Sense, for example, works perfectly well as a parable about the power of trust and love to overcome fear and shame, and if writer-director M. Night Shyamalan really does believe that it is possible for little boys to communicate with the dead, he thankfully does not stress this point too strongly within the film itself. Other films, however, seem to have more explicit agendas in mind, and White Noise fits squarely within this category.
The film—which has been promoted among fans of the paranormal with the same kind of enthusiasm that some Christians have for end-times movies—begins and ends with title cards that tell us some of the alleged facts regarding Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP. Apparently Thomas Edison thought it should be possible to construct a device delicate enough to detect the personalities of those souls that have passed on to the other side; however, according to those who believe in EVP, it may be that our radios and TV sets are already picking up signals from the dead without being specially designed to do so.
That's the premise, and if White Noise were just another earnest independent film pushing bad science and bad spirituality on its audience—like What the Bleep Do We Know?—it would be a numbing bore. But ...1
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