Guy and Laura have recently suffered a parent’s worst nightmare: their eight-year-old daughter Kimberly was abducted from her bedroom and murdered. They move to a charming old house in need of repair, hoping the project will alleviate their pain but they soon find themselves haunted by a young female spirit; is it their daughter or another entity using the grieving couple for its own sinister purposes?
“Haunted Echoes” is one of those movies that is hard to classify. It isn’t quite horror and it isn’t really a drama either, so I guess it could be called a suspense/thriller with a bit of mystery thrown in for good measure. It reminded me a little of the made for cable movies that they used to show on USA Network on Wednesday nights back in the day (man I miss those, some of them actually weren’t that bad). I’ll admit that it wasn’t quite my type of movie, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
There were several things about this film that I liked. It was one of those that kept you guessing and it was fun trying to figure everything out before the characters did (though I will admit that when the biggest mystery-the identity of the person who killer their daughter-is revealed it is a huge let down). It is a very interesting movie and I found the plot to be quite compelling. Not once did I find myself feeling bored while I was watching it, and even if it is far from being action packed there is usually enough going on to keep your attention. In addition to being a mystery it also works well as a ghost story, and I think that there are a couple of scenes that will creep out the viewers who are terrified by the thought that ghosts are real and living among us.
The cast is pretty good and there are a few familiar faces such as Sean Young (who is looking rough these days), the always cool M. Emmet Walsh (I wish he had gotten more screen time, I think the guy rules!), and Juliet Landau of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” fame. Sean Young and David Starzyk are good in the roles of Laura and Guy, but to be honest with you I just didn’t think that either character was really that likable. Guy is very annoying and is basically just an asshole who is rude to everyone he comes into contact with, especially Laura. Their constant bickering got old very fast and by their fifth or sixth argument I found it hard to really care for either one of them. Needless to say they aren’t the happiest couple in the history of film, and I couldn’t help but wonder why they even bothered to stay together since they only seemed to make each other miserable and were constantly blaming each other for their daughter’s death.
“Haunted Echoes” was good but it wasn’t without its share of flaws. As I already mentioned, I wasn’t that crazy about Laura and Guy (and while we’re on the subject isn’t Sean Young a little old to have a daughter who is around seven or eight years old?) and I think most viewers will have difficulty liking them as well. Another problem that I had was with the ghost as I didn’t understand why she did some of the things that she did (what was the point of her attacking the little girl in the bathroom?) and I certainly didn’t like what she did to the cat. I am a huge animal lover and have a major problem with them being hurt. Yes, I know that the filmmakers didn’t really harm the cat but I was still bothered by what happened to it in the movie. It was pointless and unnecessary, and to be honest I came very close to stopping the movie at that point (sorry for the rant, but I am big on animal rights).
I also thought that the ending just seemed a little tacked on like they didn’t know how to end it, and why wasn’t the medium that was brought in ever mentioned again (I assume he died, he was laying on the floor screaming at one point as his chest was being ripped open by the ghost and he is not seen again for the rest of the movie but yet no one really says anything about the incident)?
Looking past some of the problems that it has, “Haunted Echoes” isn’t that bad. It had a little something for everyone including an interesting mystery to solve, suspense, and a nice little ghost story. It was obviously influenced by the George C. Scott classic “The Changeling” as there were a lot of similarities between the two. Even though it was a little different from what I am used to watching I thought it was a pretty good movie and I imagine there are a lot of people out there who will like it (especially my mom, who loves movies like this).