ECHOES OF FEAR **** USA 2018 Dir: Brian Avenet-Bradley, Laurence Avenet-Bradley. 90 mins
Echoes of a chilling past resonate back into a young girl’s present and future as she visits her dead Grandpa Jimmy’s house for a few days unaware of the horrors that lay in store for her there in this suspenseful and shocking ghost murder mystery that will delight you with fear and make you sit upright on the edge of your chair.
Her dead mother’s strange porcelain elephant seems to know the score as it watches her every move in this spine tingling and haunting effort from the USA and if you dare break across it’s fear barrier you will keep wondering what the ominous clues mean in what is a proficient horror mystery that uses a nice blend of dark and intense close up sound effects and nice dark shadows to keep you turned on to the deep and horror laden intrigue of a film that is well acted and written. The unique and grisly orchestral musical score by Benedikt Brydern gradually quickens as the well paced tension of the movie builds into your very soul with demonic relish.
Do you believe in ghosts and tortured spirits? Or something else entirely? Either way, the plentiful possible outcomes on display here will delight your thrill senses to the max.
Echoes Of Fear will arouse your suspicions and much more in a story that is both deep and beautifully simple in it’s design with contrasting lighting effects that pull the fear across your pounding heart really well if you dare to try it out. Shocks start to build up gradually but get thicker the more you watch and delve into the nightmare that is somewhere within the old house. The film builds up a slow yet ominous beat that gradually drills the fear into your heartbeat.
There is something dangerous under the house, but what is it? All houses have a past and this one blurs the lines between real and imagined fears very well so that if you don’t believe in ghosts then you will at least start to wonder why not or what you should believe in.
Special effects are limited but not really necessary as the story holds up well in it’s own right with good contextual and realistic kill scenes that had me wondering if the ghost that Melissa encounters at her dead Grandpa’s old house is a friend or a foe. There are some nice shocking elements that made me jump in either fear or dark intrigue that felt more like short blasts of intense danger laced with a cynical denial of ghosts that may or may not be there as the film cunningly fuses reality with a tense ghost story that is full of darkness and perverse cruelty.
Can Melissa (Trista Robinson is great here) drum up the courage to put her mother’s soul to rest and find out the truth about her devastating life at the hands of brain cancer and other dark foes? Trista’s eyes always portray an at once fearful and brave persona and you will want to follow her determined investigation into what mysteries lay beneath the house and beyond.
This is a haunting and well shot ghost horror movie that waits in its dark basement for your pleasure as you follow Melissa’s nightmare as she becomes something of a ghost detective and as the dark forces at work grow stronger, your heart will start to pound and your mind will reel in fear and curiosity at what becomes a quirky and pulsating ghost trail of a film that is loaded with evil and energy.
If curiosity killed the cat, will it kill Melissa? Well, you’ll have to watch yourself right through to the highly charged and what I thought was an original and unexpected finale where the ghosts give way to some quite disturbing and psychotic killing.
Enjoyable and gripping, Echoes Of Fear really does live up to it’s name and is a very original, well acted and scripted showcase of fear that will get inside your head.
Review by Nathan Sandiford