Director – Gregory Gieras, Screenplay – Leslie Danon & Austin Reid, Story – Leslie Danon, Producers – Leslie Danon, Gregory Gieras & Stuart Hanna, Photography – Samuel Ameen, Music – Marco Beltrami, Special Effects – Scott Johnson, Makeup Effects – Josh & Mike Brezner, Production Design – Katy Jenkins. Production Company – Crystal Sky Communications/Prodigee Films.
Leif Garrett (Peter Ransket), Leslie Danon (Lisa Smyths), Tom Patton (Dr Jake Meyers), Mette Holt (The Woman), Tiffany Salerno (Jenna), Maxwell Rutherford (Professor Bettman)
Former police detective turned insurance investigator Peter Ransket is asked to investigate a number of suicides who have all had policies with the company he works for. The course of his investigation dredges up memories of his sister’s suicide. Ransket then realises that he can see a mysterious woman who encourages each suicide to take the step.
The Whispering is anonymous genre filler – material that is sold with a provocative title and video cover and whose life is usually spent filling out the 50c rental shelves and dead-hour programming slots on cable. Occasionally there is a gem or two that emerges out of this province.
The Whispering is almost one of those but never quite makes the necessary leap. It is directed without much involvement and is slow moving. To its credit, it does have the intriguing central idea of a mystery woman who is akin to some angel of suicide. In the middle, even though the scene is a cliché and never tied to anything else in the plot, there is an absorbing scene where Leif Garrett is hypnotised and unexpectedly returns to a past life. Later there is another subtly effective scene where Leif Garrett sees the mystery woman trying to tempt a grieving relative into jumping off a cliff. In these two scenes, director Gregory Gieras demonstrates some capacity for atmosphere, but thereafter the film lapses. The climactic scenes involving imminent gas explosions and a ghost girl are routinely handled.
There is a solid and convincing performance from Tom Patton. Even former 1970s teen heartthrob Leif Garrett, who these days has been eking out a living in B movies, is not too bad.
Director Gregory Gieras had previously made the tv movie adaptation of the fairytale The Tin Soldier (1995) and subsequently went onto make Little Insects (2000), the entertaining escaped maniac film Dark Asylum (2001) and the monster movie Centipede! (2004). He also wrote the scripts for Beeper (2002), Dark Island (2010), Beyond (2012), Big Ass Spider! (2013) and Day of Reckoning (2016).