DROWNING ECHO * USA 2019 Dir: Georges Padey 103 mins
DROWNING ECHO takes a stupid, fun premise (a haunted pool) and turns it into an overcomplicated, over-long movie with a meandering plot and almost complete lack of tension or scares. Sara (Itziar Martinez) is visiting her childhood friend Will (Sean Ormond) at his near-vacant apartment complex in Florida. She meets his neighbours Alex (Raul Walder), Zac (Dennis Mencia), and Kate (Josephine Phoenix) and learns Will’s girlfriend (Natalie Blackman) went to Greece for work. During their BBQ/pool party, Sara begins to have strange experiences with the pool—finding herself suddenly submerged in water and having dreams about a bad CGI water monster. At first, DROWNING ECHO seems like it’s going to be a pick-them-off ghost story/slasher hybrid, with the kind of formula that makes films like I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER so awesome. But it dissolves into tedium, dragging out a strange found-footage-style side story in Greece before turning into a whodunnit thriller (minus the thrills) in the third act. Essentially, DROWNING ECHO doesn’t know what kind of movie it is, and by trying to do it all, fails at telling a compelling story.
Review by Julia Lynch