The Echo


The Echo

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,198
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Movie Info

An ex-convict returns to his late mother's apartment and grows increasingly paranoid after hearing strange sounds emanating from somewhere deep within the building. Bobby Walker (Jesse Bradford) paid his debt to society, and now the time has come to begin rebuilding his life. As a condition of his parole, Bobby moves into his mother's old, inner city apartment and starts reaching out to some old friends. Unfortunately for Bobby, no one answers. Meanwhile, as the girl Bobby loves seems to drift ever further away, he begins to hear the same sounds that his mother once complained about echoing through the hallways of the building. At first it's just a minor nuisance, but when Bobby begins to catch the sound of violent confrontations from an adjacent apartment, he quickly realizes that something is horribly amiss. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Echo

All Critics (1)

  • ...just another unpleasant, interminably paced horror effort that's been modeled after (superior) predecessors like The Ring and Dark Water.

    Jan 8, 2011 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Echo

  • Oct 04, 2016
    It looks like this horror fest hasn't started out somewhat roughly this year, as I have seen no good movies yet and it doesn't look to get any better tonight as I have rented The Darkness. Maybe it'll surprise me, but I don't expect much from it. Which begs the question as to why I rented it in the first place, but what's done is done and I can't change it. I mean I could, but I would have wasted $1.50 that I can't get back, so I may as well just watch it. Though, and I seem to have said this with every movie in the horror fest so far, this isn't a bad movie in the conventional sense. It's not poorly written, though some might make the case for it, the acting is fine and the atmosphere is, at best, decent. But, really, the thing that holds this movie back from being better, or even average, is the fact that it just feels like something that's constructed from other, better movies. The movie really doesn't make any effort to hide its influences in any way whatsoever. That both is and isn't a problem. It's a problem in that you can't help but think of movies like The Ring all the while you're watching this. You can't help but think of how better it could be if it didn't feel so lazily constructed. But it's not so much of a problem in that, yet again, films like this need to exist. Just a horror movie that you can watch and be done with it without it being reasonably taxing on your brain. Yes, it might not be good, but as far as just sitting down and watching a horror movie without it taking a lot out of you, then this is perfectly fine. It should have been better, for sure, I'm not arguing against that. But sometimes that's just the reality of this business. It's a movie that's obviously better to watch with a group of friends. It won't scare anybody, though they make a good effort at making the ghosts appear 'creepy', but it's not a movie that has a lot of scares and it's not really even necessarily about the scares themselves. One of the things I did like about the movie, though it wasn't great, was the fact that this 'hearing voices' was really just the fact that the cycle of violence kept happening over and over again and the only way to stop it was for someone to just stand up to help. It might have been a little corny, but I think it fits with what they were trying to accomplish with their story. So at least it made some sort of sense, even though, again, it's a bit cornily executed. And that's about it really, the movie doesn't really offer much in the way of quality scares or storytelling, but it's a perfectly decent little movie that you will forget in a week. It won't satisfy super hardcore horror fans, but it will hold their interest for its running time.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Apr 18, 2013
    <B><I>THE ECHO</I> (2008)</B> WRITTEN BY: Eric Bernt. Shintaro Shimosawa. Yam Laranas, and Roy Iglesias DIRECTED BY: Yam Laranas FEATURING: Jesse Bradford, Amelia Warner, Carlos Leon, Iza Calzado, Kevin Durand, Louise Linton, Jamie Bloch, Pruitt Taylor Vince GENRE: <B>HORROR</B> TAGS: mystery, puzzler, thriller RATING: <B>6 PINTS OF BLOOD</B> PLOT: <B>The new resident of a damned tenement falters at the edge of sanity after moving into his dead mother's apartment in this preachy thriller.</B> COMMENTS: At last! One of those rare scary movies that's actually scary! With strong shadings of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's sinister short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper" (also the 1989, 2011, and 2012 films by the same title and based on the story), and <b><a href="" target="_blank"><B><U>the notorious 1964 New York City Kitty Genovese slaying</U> (link)</B></a></b>, The Echo is Yam Laranas's Americanized re-shoot of his disturbing 2004 Philippine film, <I>Sigaw</I>. I've only glanced at the eerie original, but this remake appears to do it justice, faithfully capturing Sigaw's essence and polishing it up with a respectable budget, along with English language, and settings which are accessible to a wide western audience. Here's the setup: Freshly paroled from prison where he was incarcerated for manslaughter after killing an attacker, Bobby (Bradford) takes up residence in his dead mother's apartment. The impressive masonry edifice, a dismal, run-down, East Greenwich Village behemoth, is gloomy and dilapidated. Sunlight never enters here! Long shadows accentuate labyrinthine corridors. From worn, ancient, squeaking wooden floors, crumbling dingy plaster walls thrust upward toward cavernous-high ceilings. Passages illuminated by vintage light fixtures recede to vanishing points. Creaking iron service doors open to off-limits spaces unknown. Condensation runs and drips along old pipes. Hollow voices echo through air ducts and sooty incinerator chutes. This is a building which time has passed by. Yet it is eternity in these halls. Sighing, heaving, creaking, breathing, sweating, the structure is an entity unto itself. The very building reeks with secret malice and seems a conspirator to the events which are about to unfold. Bobby's mother died violently and mysteriously after an equally mysterious, prolonged illness. Nobody can offer any explanation, but his mother's linens (Bobby's bed now) is saturated with her dried blood. Bobby returns home from his first day on a new job only to be stalked though the hallways by a crazy, testosterone-poisoned cop who turns out to be (joy!) his new, wife-beating next door neighbor. Troubling, discordant noises such as infernal scratching, annoying scrapings, whispers, odd thuds and slams from ... somewhere (perhaps the apartment on the other side of a strangely damaged wall?) plague Bobby day and night. Nobody else hears them! At least not at first. Then there's a creepy little waif who haunts the hallways and lingers outside Bobby's door, incessantly hammering out a discordant harmony on a toy tin piano. A peeping-tom across the light well is watching Bobby from behind a disheveled curtain. Bobby's new apartment is the flat from hell. But what can Bobby do? He has zero resources, no money, and no place else to go. Struggling under the constraints of the parole system, he must tread a narrow line while under a cloud of suspicion. Bobby has little choice but to ride out the situation. Dealing with his new circumstances, coping with grief and uncertainty over his mother's death, Bobby tries to rebuild his life, but it's not easy. Bobby is regarded with suspicion at his new auto-mechanic job, gets the cold shoulder from fellow tenants, and even his former girlfriend with whom he attempts to rekindle his relationship, is decidedly nervous around him. Worse, Bobby begins to unearth upsetting clues about his mother's last days -which she spent locked in a closet, shuddering in terror. But from what? Finding anti-psychotic meds, Bobby concludes she was mentally ill. But she may not have been the only one. Bobby starts suffering from terrifying hallucinations They don't only intrude when he's brooding in his mother's dark and lonely apartment. They start to follow him to work. Is Bobby going insane? He has to get out of that horrible apartment. It reeks of death. Nauseating liquids are running out of the closet where his mother perished terrified and alone. The crazy intrusive sounds are getting louder and becoming more upsetting. Finally, even a neighbor is questioning Bobby about them. The problem is, with his dubious past Bobby possesses limited credibility. Bobby's version of reality doesn't jive with that of his neighbors or the building super. His landlord thinks he's nuts when he reports the bizarre disturbances. And now bodies are starting to pile up. Bobby's doing? The police wonder. Even bobby is no longer sure. The Echo's storyline develops in methodically deposited increments, like a slow burn. It lulls us into a trance, and when that mood is broken by frightening developments, they're all the more startling. Plotted like a mystery, the continually shifting boundary of reality keeps the viewer perpetually guessing as to what's going on. The Echo is thick with an unsettling atmosphere. Interiors are dreary and claustrophobic. Bobby's apartment is hiding something, but there's not enough light or space to get a fix on it. yet the cinematography is crisp and forthright. We clearly see everything that Bobby can see. This pulls us into the film and we feel like we're trapped in the dilapidated abode right alongside Bobby. Importantly, good character development makes us interested in Bobby. We want him to survive. We want him to get out of that awful building ... but he can't! One of my criticisms of The Echo is that the some of the victims victimize good guys and innocent parties. There's no logic to this and it confuses the story. My other complaint is that, typical of too many popular scary movies, the backstory and motivation for the antagonists amounts to a cheap appeal to the hysterias of the day. An example of this is the 1997 film, The Devil's Advocate, in which attorney Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) refuses at the end to defend a child molester client he thinks is guilty. The Echo employs the same method. The convention makes the story's driving incident overly convenient in a contrived sort of way. It produces gratuitous melodrama. There's something corny about this kind of plot seed. The technique dates cinema when we retrospectively look back at it. In the Victorian era, a familiar villain was the gentleman who was also a secret fiend. In literature, <I>The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde</I>, and <I>The Picture of Dorian Gray</I> are examples, which played well to European audiences who were subject to the class system. The fact that until the 20th Century the upper crust could abuse the powerless with legal impunity was a very real dread. In the US in the 1950's to '60's the monster of the day was the communist. Then in the '70's, the drug pusher. The '80's and '90's brought increased alarm over the pedophile, followed by the terrorist. The perpetrator of domestic violence, however real and timeless, is another recently popularized boogieman. Real-life brutes and miscreants have been with us throughout history. Which type is en vogue at any given period, and selected to be the focus of heightened vilification in popular culture, shifts with changing times. The wife-beater features prominently in The Echo. The result is preachy. On the other hand, director Yam Laranas's utilization of such a convention won't make the film inaccessible to a general audience. With its restraint from violent splatter and heaving breasts, The Echo is suitable for most viewers. And with its genuine chills, strong sense of impending danger, and a tingly spattering of ICK! factor, The Echo delivers the level of fright we expect, but too seldom receive from a scary movie.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 07, 2011
    This movie started out decent. However it seemed the scriptwriter could not come up with an ending, so they just faded out at the end. Could have been a better movie if they had tied up the ends. This seems to happen alot in these kinds of movies. It's a shame...
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 03, 2011
    A very scary ghost film with creepy scenes\imagery. Interesting story, too.
    Jacob P Super Reviewer

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