Echoes Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Steve Hanks, Kate French, Steven Brand
  • Director: Nils Timm
  • Format: Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • Release Date: April 14, 2015
  • Run Time: 88 minutes



            Filmmakers these days have a need to creatively adapt their screenplay ideas in a way that requires less money to film, and a solitary remote location is one way of accomplishing this. It should then come as little surprise that so many first-time filmmakers choose the horror genre, as writer/director Nils Timm has done for his feature-film debut. Though this doesn’t feel like a feature as much as a feature-length demo reel. Derivative to the point of dullness, Echoes simply feels like a calling card for investors to see that Timm can complete a feature film. At the same time, he simultaneously proved an inability to entertain or engage the audience amidst all of the technical proficiency.


            Kate French stars as the film’s incredibly dull protagonist, and despite her best efforts to commit to the role, she feels horribly miscast as another transparent marketing ploy from Timm. French started as a model. Her parents were both models. Something about her perfect looks that the camera takes advantage of in-between scenes of terror and dread just seems contrived. Waking up in bed, French still looks like she has been made up for a modeling shoot, and this makes her supposed suffering in the film far more difficult to believe or be sympathetic towards. I’m not saying that horror films like this should only hire unattractive actresses, but they need to appear down-to-earth enough for them to be relatable.


    Paired with the far-too-commercial looks in the endless scenes of solitude, Anna (French) writes for a successful blog and the film begins with a scene of the aspiring writer scrolling through her own site with an expression of pleasure and self-pride. We soon find out that she is in the process of writing her first screenplay, and after less than ten minutes of the film I found myself hoping for a Pyscho-type twist that would kill off this protagonist for a more compelling one. Instead, Anna retreats to the desert vacation home of her manager/lover, while simultaneously suffering from sleep paralysis.


    There isn’t much I can say about the rest of the film; it is so predictably contrived that anyone who has ever seen a ghost story prior to this film will know the cause of the haunting before film’s midway point. It was so obvious that I actually waited for the answer to be something else, convinced that no filmmaker would be that lazy. Not to mention the fact that this feature still has the amount of material needed for a short film, stretched out to the point that it begins to feel like Echoes is even copying itself a little bit. 


    What can be taken from viewing this film? Timm can make a feature, but it will just feel like a bloated short film. French makes a convincing actress, but attractive has never been so dull to watch. Ghost stories all end with spirits trying to avenge their own death. The Blu-ray only serves to highlight the demo-reel quality of the images. There are no extras to make this upgrade worthwhile, nor is there enough excitement in the narrative to warrant needing a high definition presentation.


    Entertainment Value: 2/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 3/10

    Historical Significance:  0/10

    Special Features: 0/10




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