The Echo (2008) Movie Review
Written By: YN
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Yam Laranas
Producers: Roy Lee and Doug Davison
Writers: Eric Bernt and Shintaro Shimosawa
Date Released: July 17, 2008
Jesse Bradford as Bobby Reynolds
Amelia Warner as Alyssa
Carlos Leon as Hector Rodriguez
Iza Calzado as Gina
Kevin Durand as Walter
Jamie Bloch as Carly
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Bobby Reynolds has just been released from prison and has now moved in his late mom’s apartment. There, he receives no warm welcome from his neighbors, while the landlord and the rest of the tenants seem content to ignore him entirely. To make it worse, the apartment hasn’t been cleaned up ever since his mom’s death. There’s still a smudge of blood on his mom’s pillows, bloodied fingerprints on the piano’s keys, rotting food in the closet and many more. Not to mention the incessant noises that seems to be running through the pipes. All in all, things aren’t looking up for Bobby. However, it gets increasingly more bizarre when he starts hearing violent cries and shouts from his next-door neighbors. He soon finds out that something terrible is going on with the family living next to his apartment. When everyone in the apartment seems indifferent to whatever is going on in the building, Bobby takes it upon himself to help the woman and her child from her violent husband before things get out of hand.
The Echo (2008) focuses more on tension and suspense instead of blood and gore. While there are a couple of bloody scenes, they aren’t enough to make you feel squeamish. The ghosts’ appearances aren’t that revolting to look at, but they can still give you the creeps. There are also some blood splatters, rotten food and broken off human nails, but aside from those, this film is very tamed (or vanilla if you’d like to call it). However, there is a different kind of violence in the film in the form of domestic and child abuse–which are also hard to stomach.
The Grave Review
The Echo (2008) is a remake of the hit Filipino horror film titled Sigaw (2004) (translation: Scream). While the story remains basically the same, The Echo (2008) excels on the tension build-up and on adding more depth into the characters and the building’s history. While some may be a bit disappointed by the sparseness of jump scares and heart-pounding scenes, it’s still one of those stories that can keep you invested and on your toes.
Some may think that the plot moves at a slow pace, but the film dutifully lays down the foundation for a good plot twist and scare. The dark atmosphere and rundown location give off the creepy vibe right away, and it incorporates some disturbing instances or scenes all throughout the movie to maintain that classic horror vibe. What starts out as minor inconveniences slowly builds up into a good, old-fashioned ghost sightings and hauntings.
The story itself is also riveting. It sets up a few interlocking mysteries right from the get-go that will get you invested to see through the end of the film. As soon as the main mystery is solved, the rest falls into place like a perfectly fitted puzzle.
Another thing about this film is that it doesn’t dwell on too much jump scares for suspense. And while it does get scarier towards the end, the emotions warring inside the main character is where the bulk of the tension lies. The actor convincingly portrays the torn feeling between stepping up to help other people and the temptation to mind his own business because he has his own problems to deal with. It examines our own complacency and selfishness when faced with other people’s issues and tragedies, making you think that the real horror in the movie is how no one in the entire building lifted a finger to help the mother and child despite hearing and knowing of the violence brewing behind their apartment door.
All in all, The Echo (2008) is a smartly written story with a good twist somewhere in the end. However, if you’re looking for a good scare that will keep your heart pounding away like a madman behind bars and give you a couple of sleepless nights, this might not be the movie for you. This film focuses more on relaying a rounded story to convey a powerful, moving message to its audience.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Echo (2008) three graves out of five graves.
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