Echoes (2014) Movie Review – It Might Induce Audience Sleep Paralysis



Directed by Nils Timm Written by Nils Timm
Starring Kate French, Steven Brand, Steve Hanks

93 mins - Horror | Drama | Thriller - Release date: 14 April 2015 (Blu-ray/DVD)

Written, directed, and produced by (along with Ditte Halleskov, Aaron Harvey, and Eric Binns) Nils Timm, Echoes tells the story of a young writer who suffers terrifying nightmares that lead to sleep paralysis and visions. In an effort to escape and find some inspiration for her writing, she and her boyfriend/editor retreat to his glass house in the desert — when will these writers ever learn?

Echoes is Timm’s first feature-length effort, and it’s not half bad. However, if you go into it with the expectations seen in the trailer, you might be sorely disappointed. The trailer hints at a much more horrifying, gruesome, and intense movie than what is actually delivered. Fact is, Echoes is a slow movie that seems to be missing a climax. In many respects, its lack of daring makes it feel like something you’d find on television.

The young writer, Anna (played by Kate French), ends up being the victim on several levels. She’s a victim to her craft, to her sleep paralysis, her visions, and to her deceptive boyfriend, Paul (played by Steven Brand). One message the movie might be trying to convey is that you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure or, in other words, you shouldn’t get romantically involved with someone from work.

It’s never said outright, but there’s the sense that the relationship between Anna and Paul is new, since she’s not aware that Paul’s wife is dead, that they had grown estranged, that the glass house is his and was designed by his late wife.

After Paul accuses Anna of killing his neighbor, the expression “he who lives in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” never rang truer. And I guess that’s the other lesson Timm wants to teach. OK, so maybe Anna did kill the neighbor, but Paul left his blind wife in the desert to die. Which is worse? Things even get a little cheesy, or cliche, with the Indian shaman and the visions induced by the ritual he performs.

Given the obtuse nature of the story and the metaphors, we can at least say that the performances from the actors make this worth watching. The fact that French and Brand played their characters so believably is what really saves this movie.

The Verdict:

Echoes is a pretty straight-forward movie with lessons that are so blunt that you’d have to be a rock to miss them. It’s slow, there’s not a lot of action, which is fine given the movie’s classification as a “drama/horror,” but the trailer is really misleading. If you want a quiet supernatural-like horror movie to watch, or fall asleep to on a Sunday night, this is your ticket.

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