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|Index||21 reviews in total|
I expected the worse, where given some of the outright scorn poured on
Gabriel Bologna's independently produced TV style movie, has been quite
scary in itself! Truth is, is that it is very much same old same old as
regards genre tropes, but it at least does it well enough to not make
this a complete waste of time.
Set-up is via a prologue that establishes something murky and menacing happened back in Turkey 1927. Forward to the present day and a bunch of horny young adults converge on a cabin and find a mysterious board game that might relieve the tensions. Said game is of course a left over from that Turkey curse thing, a game which brings out all the pent up bile and fantasies that were previously lying dormant in this so called bunch of friends.
What transpires is hardly surprising, the group turn on each other - and turn each other on as it happens - where Bologna throws all the "cabin in the woods" staples into the pot. Blood does flow, shrieks do feature, as does ink streaming out of the protagonist's eyes. Robert Patrick is under used as the creepy vodka swigging guardian of "his" island, and much of the youthful cast struggle to impact with conviction.
Yet as the thongs and boobs cater for the like minded under sexed, and as the gore (refreshingly not over killed by CGI) keeps on a coming, The Black Waters of Echo's Pond still fills out its run-time with honest horror movie intent. Not one to rush out and grasp with bloody hands, but as late night cable time fillers go it passes muster. 6/10
I was surprised when, after some time with effective atmosphere,a very
weird, silly occurrence changed the film's tone. However...
1 - When its scary, its actually scary, featuring atmospheric scenes that build tension very well.
2 - When its funny, its actually funny, perhaps because of the contrast with the serious scenes, and actually handles the switch very well - usually it takes itself as seriously as any individual scene needs to be, which occasionally resulted what just happened, so perhaps this film isn't for everyone - it's very weird.
3 - I was considering actually dropping the rating of any horror film focusing on teenagers - fortunately these ones are fleshed out somewhat, and aren't nearly as annoying as the ones found elsewhere in the genre,
Nine friends take a holiday at a Victorian home on a private island and
uncover a game that when played brings out the worst in each of them.
Jealously, greed, hatred, lust, all of the things they keep buried deep
inside themselves rise to the surface and come to a boil.
Something went terribly wrong when making this movie. It was written and produced by Sean Clark, one of the greatest human beings in the horror community. It stars James Duval, Danielle Harris and Robert Patrick... that alone should sell it to fans. Even the effects and story are pretty decent.
Despite this, something about it makes the film boring. Probably the directing, but it could be more than that. Duval in some scenes is great and in others makes no effort to act. Were not enough takes shot, or did he not have the heart? Almost as bad, the distributor (Anchor Bay) seemed to have no love for the film. Clark put together a nice package of extras (which he gives away for free) that Anchor Bay turned down. Why? A bad film is a bad film, but some features might have at least explained what happened.
THE BLACK WATERS OF ECHO'S POND has a great first half. It sees the
usual group of unsuspecting youngsters - fleshed out with actual back
stories and characterisation this time around - getting their mitts on
a creepy old board game, a game which proceeds to bring out the very
worst in these personalities. Soon, the players are turning on each
other as past deeds and secrets come to life, and of course it all ends
The set-up is a neat one and packed with promise. The characters are far more interesting than you'd suspect and there's plenty of humour along the way too. The cast incorporates Robert Patrick (wasted in what is little more than a cameo), the 'Babysitter Twins' from DEATH PROOF & PLANET TERROR (their acting is poor to say the least), and scream queen Danielle Harris (HALLOWEEN 4).
A shame, then, that the second half is so lacklustre. All that set-up sort of melts away in favour of some very typical, completely ordinary stalk-and-slash sequences. Atmosphere disappears in favour of gory mayhem, and yet it's all very familiar and by rote. It's not that THE BLACK WATERS OF ECHO'S POND is particularly bad, because it's not; it's just that it's very ordinary, and it shouldn't be given that set-up.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've seen student films that were light years better than this mess. It
seemed like it was made by a bunch of 5 year olds with a video camera.
What the hell is so scary or interesting about a group of bad actors at
a cabin in the woods (Gee, never saw that set up before), playing a
dumb game they found in the basement (another incredibly original idea
we've never seen before), talking about their stupid office jobs for an
hour??? I swear to God, I literally thought this movie was some kind of
parody or joke, but it actually tries to take itself seriously.
The horrible acting and the inane dialog are hard enough to sit through, but then on top of that, there are some actors in this movie who have accents that are so thick, you can't even understand what they're saying. It was frustrating at first, but then I realized it was probably a good thing, because this movie was so badly written and conceived, it probably served it better to not hear what was being said, and just watch the cheesy chainsaw killings and special effects.
What a complete waste of an evening. I didn't expect it to be all that great, but at least scary and entertaining, which is something every horror flick should be. It was neither. The Black Waters of Echos Pond" is an epic failure on every level.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Black Waters of Echo's Pond is an amazing movie amazing vision,
amazing acting and one of the best written films ever then I woke up
and realized it was just a dream.
You'd think after 3 years the filmmakers would have made at least a half way decent horror film right? Wrong!!!! This is simply one of the worst movies I have ever watched. It's not the worst ever, but its close. First of all let's get one thing straight, this is not a throwback to 80's horror films in the same vein of all the classic campy horror films made. Adam Green's Hatchet was that type of film. Hatchet was campy and fun to watch for the most part there is absolutely nothing fun, campy or cool about Black Waters .nothing.
The characters are unlikeable, shallow and just poorly written. There is nothing or no one to care about in this film. Basically the game shows visions of another character doing something to screw over the person watching the vision. Then their eyes turn black and they kill that person or try to kill that person. Example: A loan office screws over his friend and then revenge with a chainsaw...Zzz Zzz.
All in all they seem like they are all just thrown together for a weekend much like this film was thrown together for a release. And yes the very beautiful Avellan Twins and Arcadiy Golubovich are very hard to understand. I was laughing at some of their serious dialog. Hiring people with hard to understand accents was not a bright idea. The "babysitter Twins" were a funny idea for"Grindhouse", but seriously these two do not belong in a film where acting skills are required. If these two are considered actresses, then Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the finest thespians in the business. Let's just hope they will not "be back"!!! Some things are better seen and not heard and in small very small doses.
For the most part Danielle Harris, James Duvall, and Robert Patrick do well in this film. These three actors have been in great movies over the years so they know what they are doing. But clearly they are working with nothing and it shows. The other performances are just forgettable and cliché except for the Twins and Golubovich, they were just plain laughable. You will laugh its funny ha-ha trust me.
The story is blah and completely unoriginal and so are the death scenes. The rake to the head is hilarious. The dialog is nothing to write home about either. I don't know who Sean Clark is, but he needs to take a writing class. I would suggest writing 101 for starters .C'Mon dude, you can't possibly be a fan of horror with crap like this can you? "It's all a dream sequence" is so unoriginal and cheap. Did you really think this was a good idea or did the drugs finally ware off and you just said F#$@ it give me my check? This guy can't be a fan of horror films period. The same can be said for director Gabe Bologna, I just don't think he knows what he is doing. Actors reactions don't match the scenes and his close up are awkward and laughable. He doesn't understand pacing, suspense or anything remotely apart of a horror film. In fact this movie is more of a comedy then a horror film it's so bad. I can't believe they are even comparing this to Paranormal Activity.
Maybe I'm spoiled with my Blu-ray player on my 50" TV and also with films like Avatar, but TBWOEP (tired of writing it out) just looks terrible. When they say throwback to the 80's, did they shoot it with an 80's VHS camcorder? I'm not a fan of the recent Friday the 13th remake, but at least it looked good. This is a theatrical release, for Christ sakes act like it
Overall this film feels like a Cinemax movie. I would have easily rented this on Netflix and had no hard feelings. $13.95 a month is worth it even for bad films like this. But make no mistake about it The Black Waters of Echo's Pond has no business being in theaters. It gives horror films a bad name. My only hope is that this film fades away without too much fuss so "real" horror movies or should I say good independent horror movies can get a theatrical release. By the way what the hell does "Echo" have to do with the movie?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
And I do mean wow. This film is soooooo bad, I don't know where to start. I saw this at a festival screening and wanted to like it. Horror has become watered down in recent years due to the glut of remakes and poor sequels, so when I heard about this I was pumped. I even dragged two of my friends and my girl to sit through it with me.
Wow, did I ever make a mistake.
This film is CHEAP, but that's not really a problem. Paranormal Activity was cheap and that was half-decent. However, PA knew how to spend its money whereas this film clearly doesn't.
It certainly didn't spend it on the script, which is appalling.
The characters are all completely unlikeable, which sometimes works but here they're just irritating and unwatchable. I'm sure I saw the director in an interview proclaiming that it's great because you don't know who to root for, but that's bull. I can answer that for you buddy - you can root for NOBODY because the characters are all assholes with some of the lamest dialog ever submitted to a film.
This is a story about loan officers who get heartbroken about stolen commission. This is a story that hints at a lesbian scene in the trailer and talks about the god Pan. Who basically looks down the stairs at someone and that's it.
And here's the best bit.
- SPOILER WARNING - It's all a f**king DREAM!!! Seriously! In this day and age, the fact these 'filmmakers' even attempt to get some mileage out of that idea shows complete incompetence. That and utter contempt for their audience.
I feel sorry for the actors in this. They're all trying their best with an abysmal script and appalling direction. It's difficult to tell if the problems are mainly with the script or the direction, but this is certainly a case of 'inmates running the asylum'. These people are like fans who've been given money to burn yet don't have a clue how to make a movie. They've been all over the internet reviewing their own film too and that is just lame.
I really wanted to like this film. The first poster was great. Danielle Harris is a great actress but what is she doing in this? Somebody shoot her agent.
The sad part is, they had an opportunity here, but I guess monkeys can't always produce Shakespeare.
Avoid at all costs - or, better yet, watch it as a comedy. You may get your twelve bucks worth.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
An ancient Greek malignity turns a group of friends on each other as
their mutual resentments rise to the surface.
This opens on a weak prologue, and stumbles about with a contrived plot, unlikely events, and weak dialogue with mediocre acting.
Mild gore & boobs etc. Lots of people bursting into rooms saying, "What the hell?" They grope for humour the odd time, but it never works.
Best thing about it? Decent twist at the very end. So slightly redeemed.
I see Robert Patrick was one of the producers.
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This recent movie is kind of in the vein of "Evil Dead" and is
certainly no worse than the recent remake. Three couples (including
Danielle Harris), a slutty female friend (Mirceau Monroe), and another
male (James Duval), who is persona non grata with the most of rest of
the gang, all show up on an island owned by the grizzled uncle (Robert
Patrick)of one of the guys. In an effort to entertain themselves during
a power outage, the group decides to play a strange board game they
find in the attic (that no one outside of a horror movie would even
recognize as a board game, let alone decide to play). The strange game
quickly brings all the groups simmering resentments to the surface and
eventually results in the usual full-blown demonic possession and gory
murder. The end though has a nice twist.
The movie features no less than three horror/genre cult figures in Danielle Harris (of the "Halloween" franchise), James Duval ("May"), and Robert Patrick ("The Terminator 2"). Robert Rodriquez's two identical twin nieces (the "Babysitter Twins" in his "Planet Terror" part of "Grindhouse") show up as a couple of, uh, bickering identical twins. There are also TWO black guys-- Harris' proud-to-be-black boyfriend and his back-stabbing "oreo" friend and co-worker, who has been promoted over him at work. Then there's Mirceau Monroe and her impressive breasts (who really should have received their own credit as they constantly upstage their owner). This is definitely a strong cast, especially for an "Evil Dead" knock-off that has been sitting on the shelf for several years.
Of course, it is not a particularly SCARY movie. It also makes the mistake of promising a lot more sex than it ultimately delivers. Sure, you get Monroe (and her breasts) in a brief shower scene and the "Babysitter Twins" (or, more likely,their body doubles) running around in thong underwear. But the movie also PROMISES an identical-twin sex scene that never materializes, and a lesbian scene between Harris and Monroe that tragically takes place entirely off-screen (oh, the humanity!). The movie is still fairly effective without such sex scenes, so why even promise them in the first place? Despite these flaws though, which are pretty typical of a lot of sex-obsessed yet strangely prudish modern-day horror flicks, this is still a moderately fun horror movie, which I guess I'd recommend--yeah, why not?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I must admit, I enjoyed THE BLACK WATERS OF ECHO'S POND immensely. I
found it to be a fun little horror item who's makers never tried to aim
higher than what it was, or pretend to be something else, but rather
focused on creating enough atmosphere, suspense, tension & some good
gory bits, along with a fun cast & characters, to create a good a
horror movie as they could. In fact, THE BLACK WATERS OF ECHO'S POND,
actually has a very interesting history to it. It was actually shot in
2008, played at various festivals in 2009, played in the odd theatre
here & there in 2010 & then oddly it just disappeared with a trace & no
word on what became of it. It just sat on the distributors shelf
collecting dust, despite a few familiar faces in the cast list. The
film was finally released just recently by the distributor in late
2013. While this usually means a bad film, the surprising fact is, THE
BLACK WATERS OF ECHO'S POND is actually a pretty decent & well put
together indie horror effort! It's much better made than most films
that do get big theatrical releases & those that get picked up for the
direct to DVD market & put out right away. Basically THE BLACK WATER OF
ECHO'S POND is essentially EVIL DEAD meets JUMANJI meets THE BIG CHILL.
The film for the most part is very well acted & pretty well shot by
director GABE BOLOGNA, who manages to capture the right amount of
atmosphere of the island, which has some great landscapes & the house
is forever shrouded in darkness. He is also able to pull off quiet a
few suspenseful moments. The gore effects are pretty nasty & violent,
so gore fans should have a fun time with the film. We get the requisite
nudity that is almost but extinct in the world of direct to DVD &
theatrically released horror movies, courtesy of a hot blonde chick
that looks like JESSICA SIMPSON. ROBERT PATRICK is pretty fun to watch
as the owner of the house, seeing a little more of him in the film than
what we did, would have been nice. HARRY MANFREDINI (Who delivered the
scores for Friday The 13th's Parts 1-7, 9 & 10) is the composer here &
he does a wonderful job. What surprised me most, is how much he has
changed as a composer. Usually the films he composed before this, bared
a similar theme to that of his 'Friday" movies, you could always tell
Harry's score apart from other composers, however here, you wouldn't
think Harry was the composer at all, since his score here sounds so
different. What should be noted is how DANIELLE HARRIS & JAMES DUVAL &
ROBERT PATRICK, the three top recognizable names in the cast list, have
roles that are surprisingly limited through the film. Unlike most
horror films, this one follows an unpredictable path, since you never
know who is going to get it & how & the people you think will probably
end up surviving, wind up getting killed & those you think will be
offed for sure when the carnage get started doesn't. The film has a
pretty good twist ending as well. The monster make-up & suits were very
well done & weird.
Not that THE BLACK WATERS OF ECHO'S POND is perfect, it does have it's down falls: Most of the characters are none to likable, but I guess they were written this way, so that when they do meet their demises, no one will care & while I admire a horror film that attempts to make it's characters a bit more real & spend some time with them, it tends to over do it here. Everyone seems to have dated someone else's girlfriend or boyfriend, each seems to have done something sneaky or miserable to the other, or has some hidden selfish desire against the other one, be it back stabbing them to get a certain higher up position at their workplace, wanting to sleep with another persons boyfriend or girlfriend etc. all of this made it hard for me to believe that any of these people were still friends, despite the hidden pent up animosity & hatred they had for certain members of the group, due to past dealings with one another, especially one character, who done something to each friend that caused them to either hate him or got them in trouble with someone else. More specifically, how he allowed the brother of one of his friends to get behind the wheel of a car while drunk, resulting in an accident that killed him etc. plus most of the first half of the film after the opening ten minute pre-story sequence, is mainly the kids sitting around playing the game & revealing all these things, which definitely slows the proceedings down a bit.
All in all, I highly recommend THE BLACK WATERS OF ECHO'S POND, it's got everything a horror fan could ever want in a horror movie, suspense, tension, atmosphere, attractive cast, some recognizable faces, the requisite nudity, gross kills, scary villains, all the things that a lot of current horror films are skimping on, in order to just make a quick buck. The guys who made this were clearly horror fans & that's what we need in this day & age of horror movies, horror films for horror fans, by horror fans & really those are the best kind you can find.
Now question, are there any low budget horror movies being made right now or being released that don't feature DANIELLE HARRIS?
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