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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Demonic Possession > Filmmaking > Screenwriting > Echoes (2014/Anchor Bay Blu-ray)

Echoes (2014/Anchor Bay Blu-ray)

Picture: B+ Sound: B+ Extras: D Film: C+

There have been a rush of paranormal films lately with one of them being Nils Timm's Echoes - an independent film that starts out pretty intriguing but ultimately falls into familiar storytelling territory and becomes staler than three day old pizza, with one of the worst final acts in recent memory. Consisting of hardly any practical special effects, the ghostly encounters are digitally enhanced (not terrible looking however) and lucid - with the film at times picking up a Lost Highway/David Lynch-ian sort of vibe.

Struggling with horrifying, sleep-paralysis induced visions, a young screenwriter named Anna (with a decent performance by Kate French) retreats with her manager and sorta boyfriend named Paul (Steven Brand) to an isolated desert house made primarily out of glass. (The location looks great on film - kudos to the location scout.) When Paul gets a call that he has an emergency meeting out of town to attend to, he leaves Anna at the house alone with his adorable dog and things are at first peaceful. She gets to walk the beautiful desert landscape, get some writing done, and even meet a kinda strange neighbor who lives nearby.

Well, sooner or later when she goes to sleep, her visions intensify and she starts seeing the ghostly vision of a woman who looks strikingly familiar to a photo she saw of Paul's ex-girlfriend. Right after that, weird writing is graphitized on the glass house and an unusual surveillance video shows some shocking evidence. Is Anna a killer? Could Paul have something to do with these ghastly encounters or is Anna finding herself in a situation much like the one in her in-progress script?

Admittedly, the finest aspect of the film is its cinematography, which is consistent and stylized throughout. Ultimately, however, it's the film's short running time (They ran out of money? Length cut against someone's will?) and abrupt ending that ultimately left me unfulfilled. The build-up doesn't quite pay off here and while the film starts to at first grab interest it soon becomes pretty predictable. Points off also for (SPOILER) killing the dog. John Wick would not approve.

Anchor Bay did a fine job with the sound and picture on the disc with a 1080p high definition transfer in anamorphic widescreen and a lush DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless track. Shockingly enough, there are no extras on the disc - just an intriguing menu.

If you're craving another paranormal yarn, there are worst films than Echoes. It just ultimately felt like it was going to pack more of a punch than the first ten minutes tease.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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