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The Echo (2008)

  Tags: Asian, Echo, ghost, Grudge, Jesse Bradford, remake, the echo, Yam Laranas

Your rating: None Average: 6 (8 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
8

The Echo poster
Rating #: 
8/10
Director: 
Yam Laranas
Runtime: 
90 minutes
Cast: 
Jesse Bradford, Jamie Bloch, Iza Calzado, Louise Linton


I think that this year marks the death of Asian horror remakes, they're just not popular anymore and maybe that's why The Echo still hasn't found US distribution because I can find no other explanation (except for perhaps if the sales agency is asking too much money for it and are demanding a theatrical release). You see, I didn't really like Sigaw, the Pinoy horror movie that this movie is based upon. I thought that it was a rather sloppy effort to copy The Grudge and let's face it, Pinoy horror movies are rarely of high quality, most of them are, just like Indonesian horror flicks, beyond terrible. Heading into this I had rather low expectations and maybe that's why I ended up liking it so much. See, The Echo is one of those rare cases where the remake is actually better than the original.

Bobby has just been released from jail and since his mother passed away while he was doing time he's inherited her apartment in an old building. It doesn't take long before strange things start happening in the building and it seems that his neighbor is beating up his wife and kid every night. When he tries to intervene, all hell breaks loose. It's almost the exact same story as the original only with a few new twists to the story that are very welcome. This time it's not so much of a Grudge rip-off as it is a classic creepy tale of horror.

I have to say, The Echo really managed to freak me out quite a few times, it's got a genuinely creepy atmosphere and doesn't rely on jump-scares. Instead the story gets more and more intense until the terrific climax. I really didn't expect this as the original was so mediocre, but Yam Laranas really improved upon the concept. Jesse Bradford gives us a stellar performance and I was overall really impressed by the acting. The Echo is indeed a theatrical horror film that deserves a theatrical run but since it's all ready been released on DVD in so many countries I just don't see it happening unfortunately. There are however some things that make it look less expensive (after all, it only had a budget of 5 million dollars and I'm sure that Jesse Bradford wasn't very cheap).

The CGI is pretty poor for most of the time to be honest with you and it felt as if the scenes in the hallway were greenscreened for some reason. Other than that The Echo is a perfect chiller for a rainy night. Hopefully we can get an R1 release shortly and if not, don't hesitate to buy the Japanese DVD which is all ready out.

Creepy ghost story with a suspenseful atmosphere. The Echo definitely surpasses the original in every single aspect and it's always nice to be pleasantly surprised. It's all ready out on DVD in several countries so log online and buy yourself a copy asap.


Posted on August 1, 2009 - 7:07am | AnthroFred

 

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