Echoes of Fear Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
Released by Second Sight Films Ltd
Directed by Brian Avenet-Bradley and Laurence Avenet-Bradley
Written by Brian Avenet-Bradley
2018, 90minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 3rd August 2020
Trista Robinson as Alisa
Hannah Race as Steph
Paul Chirico as Brandon
Marshal Hilton as David
When her grandpa dies, Alisa (Trista Robinson) heads to his now-vacant suburban home to pack up and sell up. However, there’s far more going on beneath the surface of this otherwise average suburban home than meets the eye – and it’s not long before the things that go bump in the night begin to target Alisa. Be it malevolent spirits or a hobo in the crawlspace (or whatever it is you Americans call that muddy bit under the house that isn’t the basement), Alisa had better start taking things seriously before it’s too late.
Like the haunted (?) house itself, Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley’s supernatural chiller purports to be one thing before turning into something else entirely. The first half of Echoes of Fear is as slow as they come, plagued with all of the constraints that come with this sort of low-budget production; stilted acting, murky cinematography and long stretches of time where not much happens at all. Opening with an old guy dying in the shower, the film sets viewers off on the wrong foot and keeps them there, more bored than not, for some time.
What sets this one apart from the rest is its dedication to jump scares and atmosphere once the action really heats up. The film’s directors line them up and let them go, one after the other, like a tumbling rack of dominoes in quick succession. It takes time and patience to get to this point (or at least, it feels like it’s taken a lot of time), but there’s ample reward once the film starts getting down to business. If you happen to like jump scares, that is. Your mileage may vary, depending on a tolerance for fake-outs, nightmare sequences and things jumping out of the dark. Robinson shoulders the film’s heavy lifting well, and although it takes some time to get into the rhythm of her performance and character, she makes for a strong lead. If only we could say the same for her wooden co-stars and dullard friends.
Viewed on a big screen with the lights dimmed and the volume blasting, there’s no reason Echoes of Fear shouldn’t work like gangbusters – loaded with just as many scares as your average Insidious or Conjuring sequel. In the hands of a Sam Raimi or Scott Derrickson, this could have been the next big thing. There are even shades of proper Giallo to its masked (maybe real, maybe not) killer, and Lucio Fulci to its decrepit hands in the dark.
As it is, Echoes of Fear is just your average low-budget spooker with above average scares and a cooler-than-most leading lady. When it’s good, though, it’s really something to shout about.
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