90 Min | Drama – Horror – Mystery | July 2008
IMDB Rating: 5.7
Director: Yam Laranas
Starring: Jesse Bradford, Amelia Warner, Carlos Leon
The Echo Review: 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. 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.
If you watch The Echo, 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.