By Kevin Hoskinson
In the tradition of Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring comes Echoes of fear, the new film from directors Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley.
In the movie, a young woman named Alisa (Trista Robinson) inherits her grandfather’s house after he dies of an apparent heart attack. She has decided to sell, and as she gets the house ready for sale, she slowly starts to learn that something more sinister is at play. Her grandfather was searching for something, and maybe his death isn’t as natural as it seems. She invites her friend Steph (Hannah Race) to help figure things out, and what they find might be more terrifying than either of them can imagine.
Written by Brian Avenet-Bradley, the movie is a slow burn, but one that doesn’t pull any punches. It builds up the tension and makes you jump when you least expect it. It is a jump scare type movie, and that isn’t a bad thing. It infuses the scares with a sense of dread and fear, something I haven’t felt in a while. It evokes the feeling of walking through a haunted house attraction during the Halloween season, never knowing what to expect, or what lurks around the corner.
Directed by Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley, the film uses the camera in a very interesting way. Laurence also acts as a cinematographer, and the camera becomes its own character in the movie. The way it moves and lingers in places makes it feel like you are there, in a place you shouldn’t be. It’s an eerily great feeling.
The performances by Trista and Hannah are great; they are believable and give the characters great depth. Trista made me believe that she could give into the madness at any time, and Hannah works so well as her anchor. It’s a great relationship, and they made a great team. Paul Chirico is great as Alisa’s boyfriend Brandon, although he was kind of a dick. Marshall Hilton gives a gives a nuanced and terrific performance as the neighbor David.
On top of excellent writing, directing, and acting, the makeup, and special effects are incredibly well done. The designs of the spirits and ghosts are scary good, and the makeup by Ranae Goodhew is incredibly well done.
While there is no shortage of haunted house movies in the world, it is always nice to have a new addition to the genre, especially when it’s good. Echoes of Fear is a haunted house movie with a terrifying and intriguing mystery at its core, and one that works so well on so many levels. It has won numerous awards during its current festival run, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a fun movie that is definitely worth the watch, it’s a truly scary film.
Rating: 8.0 out of 10
Kevin Hoskinson is a writer with a deep-seeded love for movies, comic books, television and the paranormal. From humble beginnings working the box office at his local movie theater, he’s worked his way to becoming a humble family man and professional bug exterminator. Growing up, he wanted to become an astronaut, a Ghostbuster, a dinosaur, and a Disney animator before he found his passion for writing as a teen. He studied film at Los Angeles Valley College with an emphasis on screenwriting and film criticism. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two kids. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter @Kevin_Hoskinson, and Instagram @kevinhoskinson.