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The Echo: Movie Review

We really couldn’t wait to see "The Echo", the Hollywood remake of the 2004 movie, "Sigaw". There are lots of reasons to be excited about it! First, this is the first Filipino horror film remade by a Hollywood outfit. With numerous Hollywood remakes of Asian horror films like "The Grudge" and "Shutter", we are more than happy to know that they finally chose a Filipino movie. Second reason is the original director, Yam Laranas will again be directing this movie. We couldn’t wait to see the changes he’ll be implementing, given that he is now catering to the American audience. However, we know that remakes of Asian horror hits are most of the time movie experiences that are not worth remembering or even mentioning. Can "The Echo" be the exception we have been waiting for a long time? Read more to see our full review.

A recently released ex-convict Bobby (Jesse Bradford) is trying to put back his life together. He does this by getting a job, by staying at his deceased mother's apartment and by trying to rekindle his lost relationship with girlfriend Alyssa (Amelia Warner). Unfortunately for Bobby, he starts hearing strange sounds at his apartment and soon discovers that his neighbor is an abusive husband to his wife and child. When Bobby tries to intervene, he is shocked to find out that his neighbors are not what he expected them to be.

What makes "The Echo" a film worth watching? If you are looking for a fun, scary and well-made horror thriller, then this might be the movie you want to see. This is not your typical Hollywood Asian horror remake trash - putting Yam Laranas at the helm was clearly the best decision for this film. Also props to the top notch audio that made things scarier than it should have been - we recommend you see this in theaters. You could hear every scratch and every chilling whisper that it will just give you goose bumps while watching. The eerie color of the film is also a plus for the movie. Finally, the story was somewhat interesting and made some sense unlike your typical horror film.

As for the acting, Jessie Bradford was good, as well as Iza Calzado despite us hoping that her part was bigger. The starlet who played the role of Alyssa was just too dull and lifeless. They could have rewritten the script without her character and it wouldn’t have made a difference at all. Aside from her acting, we also didn’t like some of the buildup of the scary scenes as some were just too long and unnecessary. There were also scenes wherein the ghosts were out to hunt some people in the apartment, and it might be better if these scenes were edited out. Over all, we liked how the movie turned out. We were satisfied that "The Echo" wasn’t an inferior version of the original movie. This is a relief from all the trashy Hollywood remakes we have all been seeing.

Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- not your typical Hollywood remake trash
- will make you quiver and squirm from start to finish
- excellent audio that makes the film scarier than it is
- has a decent story that actually made some sense

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- movie could have been more effective overall if it could have been shorter
- may actually just be scary when watching it in a movie house. Not sure if audio will have the same effect if you are watching it on a DVD at home

Thanks to Viva International Pictures for inviting us to the celebrity premiere with Iza Calzado. Catch "The Echo" on all cinemas starting September 30, 2009.

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