How do you make a successful horror movie?
Hire well-known actors, have a thematic background score, use excellent computer graphics. And of course, promote it and conceptualize a chilling poster.
But how do you actually make a good, entertaining horror movie?
Have an incredibly chilling story and execute it efficiently.
For quite some years now, horror movies have kind of reached a saturation point with me. More horror movies are being made, but they all lack substance, apply the same scare tactics- slam doors, screaming ghosts, have the family dog die as soon as a family moves into a new house…all of it has lost its appeal. I would still watch it, though, hoping that one of these stories will inspire me and reignite my passion for horror movies.
Usually, I do tend to pick movies made in the recent years to watch, mostly because I want to stay updated on the trend of stories. But I took a chance this time and watched a movie made almost nine years ago.
The Echo, when I read the summary, seemed like a thriller. A guy moves into his late mother’s apartment and starts hearing sounds of domestic abuse.
It was when the movie progressed that I realized that this was no ordinary viewing. Towards the middle, I have to admit, I was actually clutching a cushion because I found some of the scenes, absolutely frightening.
I wanted to tell myself that it was because I started watching this with low expectations, but now, after analyzing it for a day, I have to say, it was actually a pretty good movie and one I had wished I had reserved for Halloween.
To begin with, we are introduced to Bobby, an ex-con looking for employment. It’s tough going because he had killed someone. Nevertheless, he presses on and finds work as a mechanic. None of his friends want anything to do with him and his girlfriend, too, seems reluctant to get back together. At first.
He moves into his deceased mother’s apartment and finds blood stains everywhere. And a closet that reeks. On the very first night, he hears loud voices and soon realizes that his cop neighbor has been beating his wife and daughter.
This is when the strange hauntings begin. To describe the scenes would mean robbing the pleasure of getting frightened by them upon viewing. It all doesn’t seem very connected at first and you keep asking yourself why is he being haunted? Why are his neighbors being elusive? What secrets are being hidden in the apartment next door?
Then things get odd when Bobby’s girlfriend, who decides to give him a second chance, also has a ghost following her.
The scenes get so intense that these questions are pushed to the back of your mind and addressed toward the climax.
The cop and his wife and daughter are dead. This is revealed in the middle of the movie. The reason Bobby’s mother and his neighbors were haunted and then killed, was because none of them intervened. None of them tried to stop the abuse or even help them.
Bobby had already, once before, stood up for his girlfriend, so now, standing for his neighbor is what finally breaks the haunting chain.
The minute he gathers up the courage to leave his apartment and scream at the cop to stop, that is when the ghost wife, snatches the baton from her husband and beats him with it. The chain is broken. The wife and daughter no longer have to relive the horrors of their last night and finally find peace.
This is a terrific horror film with notable performances, a chilling atmosphere, and the concentration, for once, is on the story. It highlights the issues of domestic abuse and makes you question what you would do in this scenario.
If you ever hear someone in trouble? Would you help them?
As one of the neighbors states, crimes like these happen every day, how many can be stopped?
Well, I was glad this one was stopped and the wife, had eventually gotten what she wanted- and that was for someone to stand up and help her and her daughter.
Watch this on Halloween Night.