White Noise 2: The Light (2007) (DVD)

white-noise-2-the-lightI always say that if you’re going to derive from another better and well established concept, you’d better sure as hell do it well. Or do it to the point well it feels unique. The sequel to “White Noise” is a bonafide take on my favorite “Twilight Zone” episode of all time, “The Purple Testament.” Except this time it’s updated to a man who has a Near Death Experience after attempting suicide. When he returns from the dead, he can see white auras around people who are about to die. As well he can also hear EVP’s, and see transmissions of the dead on televisions, and he’s really about to experience something he never thought was possible. “White Noise 2” is by all accounts a superior film to the original, and that’s odd considering the original had so much potential, while this sequel had the odds stacked against it.

Nathan Fillion who I’ve become more and more a fan of since my inception into “Firefly,” gives a strong performance as a man named Abe who realizes his Near Death Experience gave him some amazing powers. Sure, it’s a recycled premise, but “White Noise 2” has such better production qualities and a much more interesting cast on its hand that, considering the troubles the production has gone through since its premiere, really shouldn’t be this good. It’s stunning that “White Noise” received such a wonderful promotion before its release considering it was such a wasted opportunity. I’m usually averse to supernatural dramas these days, mainly because they’re all so boring, but “White Noise 2” works and works well. The struggle of Abe to learn the intricacies of his powers are entertaining, and the result of experimenting with them makes for a hell of a creepy ride, take a scene where Abe studies EVP’s on a television.

“White Noise 2” is a semi-religious message, but one that doesn’t mind tinkering with its concept over and over and somehow revealing a possibly hidden motive behind these mysterious powers. Does Abe now have a higher purpose, or is he just a vessel for something horrifying to make its way in through him? Patrick Lussier gives some dynamite direction being able to shift tones from moody supernatural experience to awfully visual horror film that succeeds in its gruesome imagery and rather shrewd combining of unusual plot devices that join together like puzzle pieces as the story progresses. Fillion is strong here and really sells this role home providing an often sympathetic and uproarious portrayal of this man who is given an incredible power that may be too good to be true.

Katee Sackhoff is utterly adorable as the sweet nurse who manages to bond with Abe after his suicide attempt and becomes a guiding force in his life after he manages to save hers during a parking lot murder attempt. The relationship and interplay between the two manages to be believable and a well written aspect of the story, but as the story tightens its hold, “White Noise 2” becomes much more than a simple take on a “Twilight Zone” episode and delves into the cost of saving someone who is, by all accounts, fated to die. I really enjoyed what Lussier and co. had to offer for this standalone sequel, and I’m saddened it wasn’t given too much of a chance to break out as its own film. It’s a hell of a take on an already excellent concept. This shouldn’t be so good. It’s a consistently shelved sequel to a pretty awful supernatural horror film, but lo and behold thanks to Lussier’s tight direction, gruesome disturbing imagery, wonderful story, and great performance by Nathan Fillion, “White Noise 2” is a great piece of supernatural filmmaking.