The Echo (2008)

Genre(s): Horror
Image Entertainment || R - 96 minutes - $27.98 || November 10, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-11-18


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Yam Laranas
Writer(s): Eric Bent and Shintaro Shimosawa (screenplay)
Cast: Jesse Bradford, Amelia Warner


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Bobby (Jesse Bradford) has just recently been released from jail only to find out his mother passed away and her apartment locks changed. He meets with his probation officer who forces him to get a job and check in regularly, and he heads home to find the apartment a bit creepy. How creepy you ask? Well he cuts his finger on the record player and startsÖ.bleeding!!!!! Sorry for the exclamation points but I thought it was comical. He heads over to the diner across the way to meet a childhood friend and crush of his Alyssa (Amelia Warner). The two talk for a bit and he once again heads back home to have a creepy nightmare about his deceased mother needing help.

The next few days even more stranger things start happening. First, he gets a job even though heís killed someone!!!!!! Then his phone service mysteriously disconnects!!!! Finally he gets chased by cops in his building!!!!!!! Sorry, back to the story. Bobby notices some blood on the piano, and the mystery thickens as to whatís going on in his motherís old apartment as well as what she needed help with. The days pass and as Bobby rekindles with Alyssa, even more strange things start happening. He gets warnings about the apartment from supposed neighbors, and the strange noises keep harassing him in some form. Can Bobby figure out what his deceased yet still somehow alive and haunting him mother is trying to tell him before itís too late? Or will her voice just be an echo in the background?

I canít really figure out what I didnít like about this movie. I was trying to like it for the first half, but then literally just gave up after that. The story is really convoluted and pointless for the most part, as are most horror flicks, thereís just something missing here. Oh thatís right, character development. You donít just throw someone into a story about involuntary manslaughter and expect audiences to feel sympathy for the main character right away. Sure, they might feel a little compassion for the kid. Aside from that though, wonít most people just be cheering for his upcoming death scene that you know isnít too far away?

The ending was also somewhat predictable and I found to be incredibly lacking in terms of me caring about it. See the problem with horror films nowadays is the fact you need to build up to an exciting climax, and instead we get some terrible ending thatís kind of hinted about but not thrown directly at you. The problem I have is that I figured it out (as usual, seriously) about midway through when I stopped caring for the movie altogether. I know it sounds like Iím bashing this flick pretty hard, and I am, but itís not all that bad. The acting is decent from the two main parts and one of the jump moments even got me. So that does say a lot.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Nope.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Image Entertainment has been on quite a roll as of late with their past few releases in terms of transfers. This is about the fourth one Iíve watched in a row with a spectacular transfer in it, so kudos to you over there! Colors are bright but not to the point of them being overblown, and grain is non-existent in ninety-nine percent of the movie. The problem I found here was the fact that noise was readily available for viewing in nearly every bright scene. It was literally like the characters were moving when they were standing still which became a problem for my already terrible eyes to view. Besides that minor (although major) complaint, this is a great transfer.

The problem with the Dolby Digital 5.1 track is the fact that despite this is a horror flick; you wouldnít be able to tell from this lackluster audio transfer. The jump moments, of which the film has many, all sound dull and outdated. Heck most of the scares came from the front speakers when they should have been coming from the rears or the back. Whatís the point of a scary flick if you arenít going to make people jump? Dialogue levels were also a bit too low for my tastes, and with a low surround usage, or proper one for that matter, this track needs some work.



.::OVERALL::.

The Echo is a decent attempt at making horror stars out of two unknown cast members. The issue here lies with the fact that itís hard to care for either of the characters right off the bat, and if you make it to the end of the film youíll be solely disappointed by the ending. The lack of development hurts this flick to the point of making it nothing more than a rental, even though it does sport impressive video and a decent audio track. This is definitely an echo youíll want to hear, but probably only for the weekend.