White Noise – Rating 2.5 out of 5

After watching all the Ghost Hunters episodes I decided to check out White Noise which is a movie based on the EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) – a way to record voices from the beyond the grave.

Micheal Keaton stars as the successful architect who loses his novelist wife in a random car accident. A mysterious man pays him a visit and claims he has messages from Anna in the Afterlife. Rivers (Keaton) breaks down and decides to hear what the crazy guy has to say. He hears a brief snippet of a static laden recording which is apparently his wife. He of course is immediately drawn in and wants to hear more.

He obsessively sets up recorders and televisions tuned to static in hopes of hearing her. Everything else falls to the wayside, including his son who stops coming to visit. After listening to and watching dozens of hours of audio and video, Rivers begins to get fragments of messages about evil deeds being done in the local area. Anna is trying to warn him so he can save these people. These visions allow him to save a baby trapped in a car and Rivers is convinced his wife is trying to help him.

Keaton pulls off the role of the depressed and desperate father and we are drawn to him (even after he blatantly ignores his son) because he shows the hurt of losing his wife. However, the plot is confusing and jumpy with far too many holes to keep it working smoothly. It’s haphazard and in plenty of places just doesn’t make any sense.

The beginning of the movie has lots of atmosphere as we hear whispers and see faint figures on tape. Is it a blur or is it someone? Was that a desperate cry for help? Rivers gets drawn in nicely, but once we’re there the movie falls apart as a supernatural detective wannabe flick.

Some say the ending is clever and different. Some say the ending is chaotic and confusing. To me it was a hodgepodge of images slapped together to try and be dramatic but comes of flat and without much meaning.

There is a lot of potential in this movie with lots of mood and the EVP angle was interesting, but by the time we got to the end I was ready for this movie to be over.

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Van Helsing – Rating 1 out of 5

Van Helsing – Rating 1 out of 5

This will go down as one of the worst Dracula/Vampire movies of all time. A weak plot, overly done special effects, and too many “novel” characters thrown into one movie make this a must miss film. The only redeeming quality is Kate Beckinsale and her tight outfit, but then again if you want to see more of her you can check out the only slightly better Underworld Evolution.

This movie pulls in every character it can think of, Dracula (who is trying to breathe life into Frankenstein’s Monster), Wolfman (the brother of our fair maiden), Frankenstein’s Monster and even Mr. Hyde makes an appearance in a completely far fetched and unneeded scene.

It’s ridiculous, it’s juvenile and it tries to rip off every movie it can sink its teeth into – Indiana Jones, Bond but yet actually goes nowhere. There is no interesting story, no frights, no scares, no magic.

I bought the deluxe edition only so I could get the original black and white version of Dracula, Frankenstein and Wolfman. The rest of the DVD pack is rubbish.

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The Ring – Rating 3 out of 5

The Ring – Rating 3 out of 5

With its disturbing images and a few good shocks, The Ring is the kind of frightfest you’ll watch to set a chilling mood or spook your susceptible friends, but when you try to sort it out, this well-mounted American remake (of the 1998 Japanese hit Ringu, based on Koji Suzuki’s popular novel) becomes a batch of incoherent parts. The negligible plot follows a Seattle reporter (Naomi Watts) as she investigates the death of her niece, the victim of a mysterious videotape that, according to urban legend, causes the viewer’s death seven days later. (Fear Dot Com borrowed the same idea while avoiding this film’s lofty pretensions.) The countdown structure follows the reporter, her son, and her estranged boyfriend into deepening layers of terror–all quite effective until the movie attempts to explain itself. At that you’re better off shutting down your brain and letting the creepy visuals take over.”

There was a lot of hype over this movie and its deadly plot of watching a video which begins the countdown to your death. I found this movie to be so full of holes and so implausible that it was hard to watch the whole thing. It has an interesting premise and some creepy parts but the movie is so confusing it loses its edge and becomes a mess of unrelated parts.

Too flashy, too Americanized, too blonde… This movie has some good setups for the big scare and some good atmosphere with the creepy sounds and the scary little kids, but overall the movie is rather flat and is hell bent on a journey to no where. By the end of the story when the big explanation comes the movies falls further into the hole of nonsense and I walked away disappointed. What’s more, I watched the original Ringu which is a far superior film in many respects. It sticks with the less is more approach and pulls off a more atmospheric and “uncomfortable movie”.

It’s worth renting, but the hype far outweighs the reality of this film. It’s pretty weak, but could be good late night fodder.

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Ghost Hunters – Season 1 – Rating – Too Damn Funny!

Ghost Hunters – Season 1
Rating – Too Damn Funny!

Sci-Fi Channel s Ghost Hunters introduces Jason and Grant plumbers by day ghost hunters by night! Ghost Hunters a one-hour weekly docu-soap follows a group of real-life ghostbusters as they investigate haunted houses throughout the country. Plumbers by trade Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson head-up a group of intrepid souls that are far from the usual collection of be-spectacled Ph.D.s. They re ordinary everyday people with an interest in getting to the bottom of your otherworldly disturbances. Every week Jason Grant and their team investigate a new case from poltergeists who throw a child’s toys around an attic to a lighthouse whose late keeper still welcomes visitors. This team of moonlighting ghost hunters are our first and last defense against uninvited paranormal visitations.

I just finished watching the first season of Ghost Hunters featuring Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson and I have to say that although they have yet to prove (or even capture) and real evidence of the paranormal, they are wildly entertaining to watch. In the spirit of American Chopper, each episode is more centered on the bickering and the drama associated with the team member rather than the supernatural. But this juvenile squabbling is actually pretty entertaining and does make me keep watching.

Jason and Grant take their tasks seriously, perhaps a little too seriously at time while Brian and Steve seem like a couple of Frat Boys on the loose in someone else’s home. Brian with his constant, “Dude! What was that?!” and Steve with his confused and glazed over look. But over time you grow to love them.

The show isn’t scary and there is nothing chilling or suspenseful about it. It’s pretty much they show up on the scene, turn on a bunch of video cameras and walk around in the dark trying to get the ghosts to speak. Out of the 10 episodes I’ve seen they haven’t come up with anything that would make you a believer. They do visit some cool sights such as the lighthouse, a penitentiary and an armory where the sound guy gets smacked in the face by something (perhaps the most paranormal show thus far).

Unsolved Mysteries Ghosts gives more credible accounts of the paranormal, but this show shouldn’t be discounted. It is funny and entertaining and if you can deal with the cheese factor it’s worth watching. The cost is a little high ($20 for 10 episodes) and future episodes are overpriced as well, but it still makes for an entertaining weekend of viewing.

Ghost Hunters Complete Season 1

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