03rd Aug2020

‘Echoes of Fear’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Trista Robinson, Hannah Race, Paul Chirico, Marshal Hilton, Elif Savas, Danilo Di Julio, Norman Zeller | Written by Brian Avenet-Bradley | Directed by Brian Avenet-Bradley, Laurence Avenet-Bradley

Echoes of Fear tells the story of Alysa, who inherits her grandfather’s house following his sudden death from an apparent heart attack. She cannot keep the house so travels there to prepare it for sale. While she is packing away her grandfather’s belongings some strange and unexplained events inside the house start to spook her and she soon comes to the conclusion that she is not alone. Something supernatural lurks in the house and she begins to believe that her grandfather was trying to find something before he died. When her friend Steph arrives they attempt to solve the mystery and what they uncover forces them to confront the diabolical truth about what this “home” is hiding.

Let’s be honest, haunted house movies are ten-a-penny. They have been since the dawn of horror film making. So you need to have a solid idea for one if you set out to make a haunted house film today. Thankfully, despite a shaky, somewhat stereotypical, opening it turns out Echoes of Fear has a GREAT idea behind its story… One that, once you’ve seen the film, gives an all-new, deeper, meaning to what is – at first – a generic horror title.

So what is that solid idea. One that makes Echoes of Fear stand out from the crowd? Well…

Intriguingly the ghostly apparitions here aren’t actually looking to harm Alysa. Whilst it may look like they are, and indeed we’re meant to think they are, attacking her in a very cliched well-worn ghost story style; it turns out that instead they are literally reaching out to her for help. It’s a brilliant way to turn a well-worn trope on its head and bring something new to the table; and the concept works BECAUSE we’re expecting the usual stereotypes and cliches not in spite of it.

What’s also new here is the idea that apparitions can move with the person they’re haunting. Our heroine Alysa quickly, and quite rightly, scarpers from her grandfathers home once the ghosts and ghouls get too much and heads for the sanctity of a hotel. Big mistake, These spirits need her help and they’re going to do whatever it takes to get her back “home” and uncover the truth about what has happened and what is happening at Alysa’s familial home.

Speaking of Alysa, the performance of actress Trista Robinson (Purgatory Road) here recalls that of Jocelin Donahue in House of the Devil and Alex Essoe in Starry Eyes. Insomuch that Robinson, like the aforementioned actresses, successfully manages to capture both the meek and mild aspects of her character and then embrace a stronger side, one that can fight for herself and her best friend Steph. A strength that allows her to return to her grandfathers home despite the sheer terror that awaits her there.

And yes, Echoes of Fear is terrifying. The husband and wife duo of Brian Avenet-Bradley and Laurence Avenet-Bradley manage to make this film scary, even though they’re playing with the tropes of the genre. Just because they’re subverting the cliches of the genre doesn’t mean they can’t still use them to generate scares, and do so very successfully!

A fresh, new take on the haunted house film, Echoes of Fear is out now on DVD in the UK from Second Sight. Order yours at Amazon.


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