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Best Asian Horror Remake Ever: The Echo Review

Set on a dark apartment on Manhattan, Bobby (Jesse Bradford) is a convict on a temporary Parole went home to an empty apartment where his mother use to live.  Upon his release, he knew about his mother's death but he is still left with questions on how she really died.  As he moved on the building he begins to encounter mysterious sounds and screams from the room opposite his.  He then found out that the noise is caused by a woman (Iza Calzado) next door being bitten by her husband (Kevin Durand).

Believing that the people next door hold the answer on his mother's death, Bobby decides to break his silence and barged on his neighbor's door without knowing that it is the start of something far more horrific than his experience behind bars.

Based on an Original Filipino Horror Flick entitled Sigaw by Regal Films, The Echo tells a story of a man tormented not only by the noises on his mother's house but also with the echoes of his past.  Story wise, The Echo is far the best remake ever done.  The Echo surpasses what Sigaw had already shown the filipino audiences.  According to Direk Yam Laranas director of the original and the remake version, having the opportunity to direct Sigaw on Hollywood is a perfect chance to update "Sigaw" and correct his mistakes.

I strongly agree with Direk Yam.  The film is an improvement.  The story is more solid. complex and justifiable.  Manhattan is also the perfect set since Manhattan is located on the city that never sleeps.  Contrast to filipino culture, American Cities holds more secrets and horrifying truths than the rural areas.  The noise created through thousands of people all over the city adds more drama and chills on this film.

Kudos to Jesse Bradford.  I like those countless scenes where he does not have speaking lines.  Seriously, no pun intended.  It is really hard to act without saying anything.  Facial expressions and body movements are his only ways of communicating to the audience and Jesse did connect to everyone of us on the audience including my friends who are occasionally screaming and squeezing my arm.

Iza Calzado also did a very good job on her role, I think she grabbed the opportunity to show Hollywood what she can really do.  I  believe  she really did a good job compared to other Hollywood actors.  Though I'm just sad that in this version,  the story inside her family's room are omitted setting all the focus to Bobby's story.  But good thing the climax and conclusion are extended and gave Iza the exposure that she deserved.

I also want to praise Matthew Irving for a job well done in Cinematography.  Though the new version is already set on Manhattan, Matthew preserved the style of the original film.  Minimal lights and continuous moving camera that simulates real life.  Use of minimal CGI also helps a lot since it overwhelms viewers more rather than scaring  them.  I think this is mostly the reason why the other Asian horror remakes garnered negative reviews because of excessive use of CGI.  The Echo went back to basics where horror flicks are not visually engaging but more mentally and emotionally driven suspense thrillers.

The Echo is a must watch.  A big congratulation to Direk Yam Laranas and Iza Calzado for a film that we all can be proud of.  The Echo is produced by Vertigo Entertainment and distributed my Viva International Pictures.  Catch it on cinemas before the echoes comes to you.

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