The ECHO is the Hollywood remake of the Filipino horror movie from director Yam Laranas entitled "Sigaw" which is also released in the international market with the similar title "The Echo" The story begins when a young ex-con comes home to the apartment where her mother who passed away, lived. He curiously tries to find out what happened to her and why she died. He discovers that the apartment he lives in is having strange occurrences. He finds drops of blood, hears noises of things that are not there, and at the same time, he is also concerned about his apartment neighbor; a mother and daughter who is being victimized by an abusive live-in partner. All these things that haunt him soon affect his life, his work, and his relationship. He even begins to question his own sanity. Soon enough, he must face these things so that it will bring him peace.
Supposedly one that should be categorized as something which is more of a Ghost Story and Psychological Drama, THE ECHO is rich in stylistic visual images. An artful blend of bleak beauty in terms of cinematography and atmosphere, with the eerie vibe created by its storyline. The moments of horror may not be too bloody (except perhaps for one scene that had me biting my own finger) but they indeed transmit the sense of gloom well into its audience.
Jesse Bradford obviously did a better performance than Richard Guttierez (in the original version). His fear and sense of paranoia can communicate well with the audience. Iza Calzado is as haunting as she was in the original. I actually felt that the movie needed more focus on Iza whose role in the original was underlined well, and was very relevant with real world issues of abuse.
The Echo takes a lot of time to build up the horror. The slow build-up is reminiscent of old horror movies like The Exorcist, which takes its time to make its characters whole and establish a familiarity with the audience before it spills out the full extent of the horror.
The minor problem with The Echo is that if you have already watched the original Echo movie which is known here in the Philippines as "Sigaw" and you already have an idea what these hauntings are all about and why they occur, you might feel that it tends to drag and bore, because the surprise is already spoiled for you. Much of the movie's appeal relies on not knowing why these things happen.
As much as my heart goes out to the director, though, I am sorry to say that I felt that the build-up just dragged too slowly. Some sequences felt like it was just an exercise of waiting for something to happen. I feel that this needed to be re-cut, just to delete off the sequences that are horribly unnecessary. The subplots in between the horror sequences sometimes feel uninteresting. There is a good pay-off at the end but its pay-off is not as satisfying as, say, The Exorcists' final act which all goes off to hellish chaos. Instead, its pay-off is still storyline-based. It does not go off in a whimper, no, it does unleash some hell. But not enough to get it off its track, as it maintains its disciplined pace, leading to an appropriate end which makes the story go full circle. You will soon realize that this is NOT the Exorcist; this is a Ghost Story.
If you watch this movie, do not expect this to be like your run-of-the-mill slasher flick or torture horror; you should just expect a good ghost movie. There is some violence and gore in it, but this is no monsterfest. It is never goofy and it treats its own story in a very serious manner. It feels like something that may have happened in reality. That is actually its beauty because many other horror movies out there tend to overblow their stories to a point that it feels bogus and cartoonish. The Echo takes its time and is more or less grounded in reality. Quiet, but eerie. Just like the ghosts that live around us.
Drama / Horror / Mystery / Thriller
Drama / Horror / Mystery / Thriller
An ex-con moves into an old apartment building, where he encounters a domestic problem involving a police officer, his wife, and their daughter. When he tries to intervene, however, a mysterious curse entraps him.
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September 14, 2018 at 03:35 AM