White Noise 2: The Light

Rating 3

Directed by Patrick Lussier

Written by Matt Venne

Starring Nathan Fillion, Katee Sackhoff, Craig Fairbrass and Adrian Holmes

I have not seen the original film, starring Michael Keaton, but I chanced upon the opportunity to watch this sequel and was quite keen to do so.

Nathan Fillion plays Abe Dale, whose wife and young son are killed in an apparently motiveless shooting. Following an attempt to take his own life with an overdose of pills, he has a “white light experience” and afterwards he can identify those whose lives are about to come to a brutal end, via a white light that surrounds them. He believes his destiny is now to save the lives of these people, but this disrupts the balance of life and death. When he discovers that the man responsible for killing his wife and son is still alive he begins to piece together the horrible truth about the consequences of his own actions.

The film never quite managed to involve me fully. I could not escape the feeling throughout that a much better film was trying to fight its way to the surface. It seems as if screenwriter Matt Venne got caught in the middle of two different plot progressions and could not decide which one to go with. On the one hand, the story delves into the precarious balance between the worlds of the living and the dead, but Venne apparently could not prevent himself from adding in some vagaries about the fall of Lucifer and the Beast 666.

The influence of many other films is clear. ‘Flatliners’ and ‘Fatal Destination’ immediately come to mind – as does ‘Starman’, with Nathan Fillion standing in for Karen Allen’s character. There is a risible visual nod to the Nicholas Roeg classic ‘Don’t Look Now’ that is as pointless as it is blatant.

Fillion has genuine screen presence. His involvement is definitely an added bonus. I chanced to see a couple of episodes of ‘Bionic Woman’ and thought Katee Sackhoff was rotten in those, despite the many opinions to the contrary, but she is much more likeable here, reminding me a little bit of Patricia Arquette. I’m not sure about the casting of Craig Fairbrass. He always puts me in mind of a terrible Guy Ritchie East End gangster film.

It’s a horror film without buckets of offal – which is a good thing, I think. It might not be very original, but it’s not without its enjoyable moments.

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