The Echo

2008

Drama  Horror  Mystery  Thriller  

Synopsis


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BluRay
n 1280*534 n
n English n
n R n
n 23.976 fps n
n 12hr 0 min n
P/S 113 / 240
BluRay
n 1920*800 n
n English n
n R n
n 23.976 fps n
n 12hr 0 min n
P/S 103 / 223

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

A Ghost Story

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.

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

Atmospheric ghost story

One of the best Asian horror remakeI was fortunate enough to view the film during the Cannes Film Festival. And it was received by the critics and audiences with open arms. The original film, "Sigaw", was the first Filipino horror for a long time to be very atmospheric.Directed by the original film's director, Yam Laranas, "The Echo" is a very fine and atmospheric film like the original. The changes from the original was obvious and was probably done to expand the character histories.Delivering very frightening chills, "The Echo" is a step up to your average Asian horror remake.

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

Some Genuine Creepiness In This One

The Echo had a handful of scenes with an uncomfortable creepiness akin to classic J-Horror. Rarely do I reach for the remote anymore having experienced most every range of horror film out there, but this one seeped under my skin and had me on edge more than twice. And it is that sort of unsettling moodiness combined with frights you hafta' be paying attention to catch. You know, the kind where after they've come and gone you must back em up for a second take. Truly those "WTF" type instances.Jesse Bradford plays Bobby, a twenty something recently released from prison after doing a stint for killing a guy who attempted to rape his HOT girlfriend (played by Ameiia Warner) in a restroom. Having nowhere else to go, he heads back to the ol' East Village NYC neighborhood. Mom has died a spooky death from starvation, he learns, when he moves in to her old apartment. There's bloody fingernails on the piano keys and rumbles in the walls and a mean-looking cop next door who enjoys beating his wife and little girl. Bobby starts to see things, though, and these things aren't making any sense and they're a bit ghastly to boot. It's when Bobby decides he can no longer put up with the abuse he is overhearing next door and reports it to the cops, only to have them respond to a completely vacant apartment next door, that things go from odd to friggin' strange.Bobby's apartment reminded me a lot of the apartment in the game Silent Hill 4: The Room with its eerily watered down dingy browns and rusts. There are holes in the peeling plaster walls and everything gives off the mood of worn and filthy. It's a truly lonely place that flattened my spirits each time Bobby returned home.The Echo is not without its disappointments and inconsistencies which converge on a far too abrupt ending that leaves the viewer feeling a bit jipped. Oh well, though. It is a decently freaky ride getting there.

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

Comes Alive Only in the Second Half

Ever since I heard about it, I wanted to watch this American production of a Filipino horror film, with the same director (Yam Laranas) at the helm. However, when I heard it went straight to DVD instead of wide theatrical release, I knew I had to temper my expectations.The first half of this movie moves at a literal snail's pace. There was nothing much to establish, yet it certainly took its time. Bobby Reynolds (Jesse Bradford) earns parole from his prison term and went to live in his mother's apartment, which had been abandoned since her recent death. However, he sees strange things and hears strange sounds while he is there. This entire scenario with the Mom was not in the Philippine version at all, yet so much time was spent on this side story here.However, in the second half, the movie finally comes alive when the story about the family who lived next door to Bobby finally gets dealt with in more of its gruesome detail. These scary scenes were shot very well, with the right amount of nervous tension. Still we see the victims do what most "horror movie victims" stupidly do to deserve their fates. The ending would seem to be quite simplistic given the extensive build-up to that point. This is especially true for us who had already seen the original before.Jesse Bradford did well to convey how a macho ex-con could be the central character of a horror film, which is not typical. He did much better than the original actor. I felt it was too bad that Iza Calzado, who was given the chance to reenact her original role in this American version, was given little opportunity to fully delve into her disturbed character of the abused wife. Some time could have been spent to describe her situation more, than the excessive time given Jesse to explore his apartment. Knowing her character more could have increased the audience's satisfaction with the story's final outcome.

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