Directors: Brian Avenet-Bradley and Laurence Avenet-Bradley
Performers: Trista Robinson, Hannah Race, Paul Chirico, and Marshal Hilton
Ask any horror fan, and they’ll tell you they have a favorite genre. Mine is undoubtably haunted houses. I know they can be trite, but there’s something abut the metaphorically haunted place, how a location can absorb the character of the people who live there, that has always fascinated me. We find echoes of this in any story about death where someone is left behind to pick up the pieces of those who’ve passed. Horror tackles this by turning the metaphor into something supernatural, allowing the haunting to manifest as something on the edge of vision, just out of sight, lurking in dream and shadow.
This in mind, Echoes of Fear (2018) is a fascinating little haunted house horror that has a bit more than you may have bargained for. It actually caught me off-guard with how good it is. It’s not on the level of Ari Aster’s astounding Hereditary (2018), but this one does have a lot of fun moments on offer for fans of haunting and haunted house stories.
When Alisa (Trista Robinson) gets word that her beloved grandfather passed away, she has to drop everything to travel to his house and sort through his belongings so she can sell the place. It’s a bit surprising to learn the house is a mess and he was a minor hoarder, and she quickly realizes she’s tackled a bigger task than expected. Packed with haunting visuals and a killer score, Echoes of Fear is a surprisingly creepy film. If you like ghostly mysteries, this is a solid choice.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
I went into this movie blind, and I suggest you do the same. It’s a pretty solid film that, though there are a few problems with line delivery in places, holds up as a solid ghost story. I suggest you do the same to get the most out of this film, since knowing the twist kind of ruins it.
Hauntings are in vogue now, and we’ve seen them range from Hereditary (2018) to The Haunting of Hill House (2018). But, this one has more in common with The Pact (2012) than those. Alisa’s attempt to solve the mystery of the haunting slowly reveals the killer – her own grandfather and his cousin – and only defeating them can put their victim’s spirit at rest. Straightforward, I know, but it has some unique charm. The cinematography is sophisticated and used so well here that it feels like a big budget film. The editing and score are also impressive. It feels like an early Japanese horror film with the close camera work and intimate settings. The film lets the score go silent and lets the camera linger to build tension. It has jump scares, but it still delivers a few solid scares from tension and creep factor alone. It’s won a handful of awards already for good reason.
Echoes of Fear debuts as a limited theatrical release October and November.
My rating: 4/5 stars
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