Brian Avenet-Bradley has made several genre films such as Freez’er and Ghost of the Needle while staying somewhat under the radar. On his latest film, Echoes Of Fear, he’s added his wife, cinematographer Laurence Avenet-Bradley, as a co-writer. The result is the film that should put them both on the map.
Alysa (Trista Robinson, Purgatory Road, Jurassic City) has just inherited her grandfather’s house. Since the taxes and upkeep would be too much for her and her boyfriend Brandon (Paul Chirico) they decide to fix it up and sell it. They decided but she’s left with most of the work as he can only be there on the weekends.
Left alone in the house she begins to see and hear strange goings-on. And she’s not the only one, a plumber leaves mid-job after something spooks him in a crawlspace. With just her friend Steph (Hannah Race) and kindly neighbour David (Marshal Hilton, Primal Rage, A Clear Shot) for the support, she needs to find out what is haunting the house. And why. The answers, however, may make her the next victim.
For its first hour Echoes Of Fear is fairly standardly plotted, if very well done haunted house film. We get the creepy house, weird noises and things half-seen in the shadows. Lights turn themselves off, inanimate objects become mobile, etc. Secrets get revealed as the strangeness increases to the point where apparitions start appearing.
It’s at this point that Echoes Of Fear goes off into an entirely logical, but unexpected, direction. Scared out of the house and into a hotel room she finds out two things. Brandon is more interested in the money the house will bring than in her safety. And that the visions/hallucinations can follow her. Determined to put her grandfather’s spirit to rest she forces herself to go back. But what she and Steph find is far from a typical haunting.
The Avenet-Bradleys have distilled the essence of the haunted house film to create the first hour of Echoes Of Fear. The care they put into taking what the viewers expect and doing it right makes all the difference. To many films simply throw cliches up on the screen and walk through them lifelessly. Here the situations are carefully set up and pulled off so you jump even when you know where the story is going.
Part of the credit for this has to go to the performances by Robinson and Hilton. Robinson has to stay convincing while alone on screen and reacting to events that won’t be added until post-production. Hilton is excellent in the small but important role of the kindly neighbor with his own secrets.
Echoes of Fear received its World Premiere at the 18th annual Shriekfest Horror Festival. It won Best Supernatural Horror Feature and picked up several more awards on its festival run and it’s easy to see why. It moves into general release on October 16th via Artist Rights Distribution with a limited theatrical run ahead of DVD and VOD release. Cities and dates are available on the film’s website and Facebook page.