Echoes (2014) – Nils Timm

 

Releasing today from Anchor Bay is Echoes, a film that was an official selection of both the New York City International Film Festival and the FilmQuest Film Festival where it garnered awards for best actress, best director and best screenplay. This well-produced and acted supernatural thriller ends up being fairly predictable, but its pacing and acting balance out a story we’ve all seen before.

Anne (Kate French) is working on yet another draft of her screenplay, under the supervision and assistance of her manager/boyfriend Paul (Steven Brand). While her days are spent staring at the blank page and a flashing cursor, her nights are steeped in terror as she suffers from an almost debilitating sleep paralysis – a horrific experience for anyone who has actually experienced it, and a frightening one just to think about.

In an effort to help calm her down, and maybe get away from things for a while, Paul suggests taking a few days, and spending them in a home he has out in the desert. The glass house is beautiful, cozy, and wonderfully remote, surrounded by picturesque desert and landscapes. Perhaps here, she can let go of some of her terrors, nightmares, and find some peace and serenity. When Paul is called back to town for business, Anne decides to stay on to try to get some work out-of-the-way in the relative peace and quiet.

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But there, in the midst of the desert, her paralysis seems to grow worse, and now, the line between dreams and reality begins to blur as a strange being begins to visit her nightly. Things get spookier when she learns she isn’t as alone as she thought, seems there’s a groundskeeper/caretaker living in a trailer close by, Jeremy (Steve Hanks), and Anne suspects him of watching her, and scrawling a date all over the house’s bedroom window.

Is it all a prolonged nightmare? Is it something far worse?

The film is lightning-paced, moody, an enjoyable score by Dre Nitze and has some genuinely troubling moments, particularly when Anne goes through the camera footage for her stay in the house… The more she investigates, and tries to figure out what is going on, the more she learns of a missing woman, and an event which may drive her to face her own fears… if she survives.

In the end, what we have is a fun, if predictable film, especially once we start racing to the final act, but it is tempered by the gorgeous location, and solid performances by French and Brand.

Echoes is available from Anchor Bay today!

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