Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Echo

The Echo (2009) Official PosterThese past few years, Asian horror films have broken through the Hollywood scene. These flicks that scared many Asians from Japan, Thailand, and the rest of Asia have been translated and re-filmed using the Hollywood style of film making and some even with known stars.
Horror flicks like The Ring and The Grudge have been successful in gaining an international release. And just last year, The Echo, based from the original Filipino movie "Sigaw", was filmed and it was released also under a Hollywood production under the same producers of The Ring and The Grudge.
Even though I am not very fond of this type of genre, I was intrigued to see how The Echo was. I actually have not seen the original version prior to watching this one so I have no idea of its story. And so I did watch it and it gave me the creeps from its opening credits till the end.
The story revolved around Bobby, a paroled convict, who went home to stay at his mother's apartment who was found dead in it. Neighbors of his mom says that she turned insane before dying of starvation. And during Bobby's stay in the apartment, he experienced hearing different sounds around the walls and nooks of the unit. He would also hear his next door neighbor fighting throughout the night. He would hear his noisy neighbor in the hall way with the lady banging on the doors. And he would frequently find the little girl from next door on the hallway playing her toy piano. He even had encountered his neighbor police on the hallway and telling him to mind his own business.
As the movie progress, Bobby would see unusual beings in different place and hearing different sounds. And one night after hearing that the fight next door is getting out of hand, he knocked and entered to an empty room. Then he learned from the building manager that there was no one living there for the longest time. And that there are only two tenants on the same floor, the other is just a single man.
During this time, Bobby's ex-girlfriend noticed his lady neighbor knocking at the door which gave her doubts on Bobby. One time she decided to talk to Bobby's neighbor only to find out of the empty room as well. But this time she experienced the fury of the poltergeist next door by dragging her by the hair and hurting her. Only in time for Bobby to hear the commotion and saved her. And during that night Bobby was able to take courage to stop the fighting spirits on the hallway and stopped their haunting.
The Lady Next Door and the PolicemanGina the next door lady hovers over Bobby
Among the creepy parts of the film include scenes were Bobby was awakened with the dead lady from next door is hovering down to him from the ceiling while dripping blood, the restroom scene where the dead kid wild bloodied hands clenching the topside of the toilet cubicle, and the sound effects done to mimic the sounds made during the death of the family next door.
I would rate this film as an overall 9 due to the creepiness and the new scares it brought to the audience. And due to this, I had to watch the original Filipino version to compare. I would say that The Echo was very much an improved version of the original from cinematography, editing, sound effects, and twists in the story though it retained the trademark scary scenes of the original film also. But unlike the Hollywood version, the Filipino version gave a longer exposure to the ghost family.
I praise its director, Yam Laranas for the job well done on both films specially on this Hollywood version which he improved very much. I hope that his next film which he is doing now, Patient X, will be as good or better than The Echo. Iza Calzado, who played as the lady next door, is the only original cast member whom was part of the cast on this newer version.
Trailer of The Echo

Some Scenes from the Original Filipino Version - Sigaw (The Echo)

Iza Calzado from Sigaw (The Echo)Sigaw (The Echo) PosterRichard with Iza Calzado at Sigaw

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