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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Review: Echoes of Fear

Director: Brian Avenet-Bradley y Laurence Avenet-Bradley
Screenplay: Brian Avenet-Bradley
Year: 2019

“Echoes of Fear” has been getting attention in the world of horror cinema while it collects awards and nominations in every festival in which it’s shown. In its accolades stand out awards for best feature and best supernatural feature that create plenty of expectations since before even knowing what the movie is about. After watching it I can assure you that these awards are well deserved, as it is an excellent horror movie. 

Alisa inherits his grandfather’s house after he died of a heart attack. After realizing that she would not be able to take care of the expenses of the house, she and her boyfriend Brandon decide to fix it and sell it, but he can only help her during weekends, so Alisa spends most of her time in the house alone. Alisa starts hearing noises around the house that become more menacing every time until horrible apparitions start happening.

“Echoes of Fear” starts as a typical haunted house paranormal horror movie, where Alisa starts hearing things that seem to come from different places around the house, stuff moving, and lights turning off by themselves. Throughout this time a tense atmosphere is established to keep the viewer on the edge of its seat and making it jump with every insignificant sound. But this is just the preface for what’s in store for the rest of the movie. 

One of the best attributes of this movie is, without a doubt, the jump scares. Brian Avenet-Bradley (“Dark Remains”) and Laurence Avenet-Bradley use common horror movie tropes to make the viewer think they are going to use a cliché scare and catch it off guard. Even the most veteran of horror fans will jump a few times courtesy of the well placed and well-crafted jump scares, that are effective even when you see them coming. 

The Avenet-Bradley not only know how to create a tense atmosphere, but they also complement it with disturbing and macabre visuals. At first glance, this movie develops as a supernatural one and the apparitions are done with horrifying visuals, beyond the effectiveness of the jump scares. Later the story takes a sharp turn towards more realistic topics and the visuals are changed for others more macabre and uncomfortable. Close to the end, there is one of the more macabre scenes in the whole movie that I will not talk much about to avoid spoiling it, but that deserves to be paid attention. 

The cast is another point in favor of this movie. In most of it, we only have four actors and they are never together in the same shot. Alisa and her friend Steph, interpreted by Trista Robinson (“Purgatory Road”) and Hannah Race respectively, are the ones that have more time on screen, who in parts are joined by Alisa’s boyfriend Brandon, interpreted by Paul Chirico (“Grimm”) and the friendly neighbor David, interpreted by Marshal Hilton (“Primal Rage”), whose character gains importance as the story goes. While no one does a groundbreaking performance, they all carry well their characters, making them believable in the plot.

“Echoes of Fear” is one of the best independent horror movies of this year. The Avenet-Bradley marriage plays with common horror tropes to create a dense atmosphere and some of the best jump scares I can remember from a movie with such a limited budget. The only thing against the movie I can come off with are some dumb decisions by some characters, but nothing that significantly affects the plot. This movie offers much more than what the viewer can expect and is the kind of movie that can push careers towards new heights.

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