The Black Waters of Echo's Pond (2009) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
21 Reviews
Sort by:
Pan's Pulsing Peril.
Spikeopath11 May 2014
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
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Something Went Wrong
gavin69427 July 2014
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.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Flush these waters down the toilet...
Iluvhorror19908 April 2010
Warning: 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?
10 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Inept Waters...
superrooty4 April 2010
Warning: 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.
10 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Echo Pond was... well... watery.
ZombieRanger30 March 2010
I had the honor, I suppose, of seeing this as a convention last year. After a meet and greet with some of the cast and crew, the theater went dark and this movie flickered up on the screen. Roughly 7 minutes in, I turned to my friend and told him every plot twist we were going to see, the order the characters would die in, and how the movie would end. I was about 94% dead-on, and the row behind me started laughing out loud every time one of my predictions came true. The film looked alright and had a decent score, but the characters were not well written and the plot was so by-the-numbers it killed any chance for suspense to build. What we do get is some long slooow character development of several unlikable people and when the horror does kick in, it makes little sense and doesn't seem to fit the tone that led up to it. I hate to say it, because the cast/crew were very supportive and proud of their work, but I've essentially seen this movie before, and seen it done better. The only recommendations I can give are for James Duval and Robert Patrick, both of whom give inspired performances with pretty bare roles.
19 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Absolutely awful
gaynor_stephen11 April 2010
Warning: 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.
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
BakuryuuTyranno5 July 2012
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,
6 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Gaggingly Bad
RichardSRussell-19 April 2010
The Black Waters of Echo's Pond (1:31, R) — Fantasy: Supernatural, bargain basement, original

I rate SF&F movies on a scale of 1 (execrable) to 9 (superlative). Not surprisingly, a year's worth of them tends to form a bell-shaped curve, with lots of movies in the middle and hardly any at the extremes. This one is among the rarities — but unfortunately not up there at the Avatar or Dark Knight end of the scale: It's one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

Here are the characters:

 • Rick (James Duval), the generally unwelcome 9th wheel at the party

 • Kathy (Danielle Harris), whose brother Danny, sporting a "1.8%" blood-alcohol level, had been killed in a car crash while riding with Rick

 • Robert (M. D. Walton), token Hispanic, a recently promoted loan officer

 • Trent (Walker Howard), token black guy, a junior loan officer who got Rob his job

 • Veronique (Mircea Monroe), a flirtatious sex kitten with new boobs

 • Erica (Elise Avellan), the goody-goody twin

 • Anton (Arcadiy Golubovich), her curly-haired, accented husband

 • Renee (Electra Avellan), the more daring twin

 • Josh (Nick Mennell), her bland and forgettable fiancé

 • Pete (Robert Patrick, who also executive produced), the eccentric old guy with the shotgun who owns the island and the lodge on it

The opening 9 minutes supposedly occur in the "Meandros Valley, Turkey, April 1927", as archeologists unearth Omphalos, lost temple of Pan. Among their findings is a map to Pan's lair, Pandemonium, where "demons were entertained by the tortures of the damned". The expedition leader is warned by its financier to bring all the artifacts to him immediately. For some bizarre and unexplained reason, this entails going to Beacon's Isle, Maine. By the time the financier arrives, the archeologists have converted their goodies into a tabletop-sized board game and proceeded to kill each other; the last of them takes out the money guy, then blows his own brains out.

Zip ahead to the present day, when 8 college buddies arrive on that self-same island for a weekend getaway, along with mismatched acquaintance Rick, who's evidently done different things to tick off each of the others individually. They discover the game walled up behind some boards in the basement and decide, since the electricity has just gone out, that they may as well try playing it. The 1st Chance card they get ominously suggests "speak thy hurt unspoken", and Trent uses it as an invitation to unload his resentment over Rob's success at their joint workplace.

Things deteriorate from there, as old jealousies (and new), misunderstandings, resentments, etc. flare up. Periodically the red-eyed goat head of Pan puts in an appearance in a non- speaking role, for no apparent reason. Sooner or later, each of the young people undergoes a transition in which their eyes turn black, grossly overdone black mascara and lipstick starts running down their faces, and they engage in frenzied homicidal attacks on their erstwhile friends, using rocks, rakes, spear guns, shotguns, knives, cleavers, icepicks, chainsaws, and good old-fashioned thumbs-on-the-windpipe choking.

Bad as the plot is, the acting is worse. The make-up is screamingly awful. The very limited effects are abysmal. None of the characters is remotely likable. Despite the prolog, there's nothing about Turkey or ancient mythology in the main storyline, and neither the black waters nor Echo's Pond puts in an appearance. This has all the hallmarks of something slapped together by a drunken committee over a bad weekend.

Fun to review, tho.
15 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
There are three people who didn't get killed in this movie, that SHOULD have
hauntedhaus11 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
1)The guy who financed it-- "Well, this certainly sounds original and interesting. College kids on vacation at a creepy, old, victorian house up in the woods, that all get hacked to pieces... Fascinating. Wow, you guys are all big horror fans too, huh? You MUST know what makes a great scare flick, even though none of you have ever made a movie before or have any idea what it takes to do this. Fantastic!!! Here's a couple million dollars, make sure we see my girlfriend's boobs in the movie, they cost me six grand."

2)The "writer"-- "Let's see... An old game found under a crickety staircase by bad actors in a cabin on a lake, who talk about completely uninteresting crap, then all their eyes turn black and they start killing each other with chainsaws and stuff... Brilliant! All of this, while a creepy goat monster walks around the house and does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING." This script is SO poorly written, IT should have been thrown into the black waters of echo's pond.

3)And lastly, the mental giant who actually put this turd IN A MOVIE THEATER. Sorry, there's no funny quote for this person, because even in the deepest corners of my twisted mind, I cannot figure out why "The Black Waters of Echo's Pond" got a theatrical release. I guess I'll be scratching my head on that one for a while.

Honorable mention goes to the cast of crew of this film, who shamelessly continue to plug this farce of a movie all over the web and at horror conventions, with straight faces, saying things like; "Yeah, we're horror fans and wanted to make something new and fresh, that wasn't a sequel or remake." But in essence, what they have done is embarrassed themselves, anyone involved with the film, and the entire genre as a whole.
4 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
more marketing was necessary I think...(spoiler)
allprosales11 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I'm in the line to get in and the people behind me comment; "what's Blackwater about?"hmmm.... I know some of the people who did this movie so I know it's a B-movie upfront. Horror genre, psycology thriller type and I've lined up the perfect date for this. Sex and gore and thrill kills, some screams;great movie to set the mood when we get home.I'm thinking she's saying to me, "babe what got in to you...Pan?"THE MOVIE: The movie is paced OK, the characters had to be developed.I think since one of the characters had a breast job done, they should've been exceptionally large.The lesbian scene should have been shown.The nice twin should've went through with her swapping and it should've been depicted as wild.The other twin should've been shown kind of cold;then they kill people.Sex and gore and screams;this is that type of movie.Robert Patrick was OK.The sound in this movie was fantastic and I do mean really good!The HD picture quality was good also.The acting was OK.I'm a Scorsese, Tarantino type of guy;never enough blood,sex,gore for me and more could've been shown here.The storyline was a great idea also.Over-all rating--GOOD.
5 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A very bored game
Adam Peters14 June 2015
(5%) An amazingly bad and impossible to remember title for a pretty awful film. This is very much something that starts poor and never really recovers with its terrible script, lack of ideas, bad acting, and total sense of pointlessness. The concept of turning themes taken from the family film Jamanji and turning them into an adult horror movie could have worked out, but it would have needed more capable hands than the hacks who produced this mess. Robert Patrick is the biggest name here, though his character is largely pointless as he dips in and out of scenes like a drunk who can't find his way home, while most of what happens to the other characters is so poorly crafted that you begin to stop caring way before they even begin to get hacked up. There are some messy gore effects here and there but not enough to warrant this even close to a worthy watch. Stay away.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Neat set-up, so-so payoff
Leofwine_draca29 March 2015
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 in murder.

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.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Moderately fun "Evil Dead" knock-off
lazarillo12 October 2013
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?
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Finally seen it, at last!!!.
michaelclover3 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Black Waters of Echo's Pond is a brilliant horror movie starring Robert Patrick from Terminator 2 and Danielle Harris from the Halloween remake. I have been waiting for this movie to be released on either Blu Ray or DVD since I heard it was being made. I finally got to see it on it's premiere on the Horror channel on Sky TV. The movie itself has all the hallmarks of a classic horror film, but this has it's own take on the genre and doesn't disappoint. The movie is basically about a group of teens staying in a lake house and playing a board game. You get the usual amount of gore and jumps but it also has the audience wondering if what you see is real or are they just dreaming it. I would recommend all horror fans to get a look at this film and enjoy it best in pitch darkness as the film is 85% at night. 9 out of 10.
4 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Melted cheese feast
begob15 March 2015
Warning: 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.

Your review does not contain enough lines - the minimum length for reviews is 10 lines of text. Please see the guidelines. Attempts to pad the comment with junk words can result in your account being blocked from future submissions.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Great story behind this horror movie
talktogabriel17 November 2009
Black Waters of Echo's Pond, directed by Gabriel Bologna, starts off with a flashback about an archaeological exhibition in Turkey that uncovers ancient plans to make a game based on Greek mythology, specifically the God Pan. The archaeologists decide to build this game on an island where "pandemonium" takes over and they end up killing one another. One archaeologist is left, but before he dies he hides the game where he thinks no one will find it. Flash forward to present day America and we find a group of friends who are going to stay the night on that same island. This group starts to party and literally stumble across Pan's game. At once, they start playing the game and this is when all their insecurities and sexual desires start to surface. The game mostly presents each of the characters with questions that they answer honestly. This starts a chain reaction that starts off as harmless but pretty soon, after the sex scenes, their eyes turn to black and they start turning on one another or as director Gabriel Bologna said "nothing is scarier than watching twins running at you with knives." Meanwhile, the mythical beast Pan starts to show up and is the catalyst for the chaos or "pandemonium" that ensues.

On the surface, this movie just seems to be an adult version of Jumanji with people playing a game and the game coming to life. Underneath the sexual tension (the very sexy Avellan Twins) and gore (several well done death scenes) of this movie is a well thought out plot about how people are very capable of doing great harm to one another, even to their friends, when things like envy and rage start to cloud the mind. There is a supernatural element to this story and that is Pan, but he only brings to the surface the carnal blood lust that is already lurking in all of us.

There are some great characters that make up this movie and one star shines brighter than the rest. Danielle Harris, who appeared in at least one other movie at the festival, gives a dynamic performance as the girlfriend whose brother was killed in a car accident involving one of her friends in the movie Dark Waters of Echoes Pond. This brings tension to the table and pretty soon anger flares and tears start to well up. It's when the tears come that you really feel the dynamic range of emotion that Danielle is capable of. She brings the performance with a sincerity that is recognizable as talent, not to mention the fact that later in the movie she does her first girl on girl scene (very talented). Even though you can still see a hint of Michael Myers little sister there, Danielle is perfectly capable of an intricate performance without the help of her cult status. She has even started directing her own films and is even starting her own blog. I think she can hold her own as a lead role and she is definitely one to watch.
11 out of 51 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Evil Undead
kosmasp25 December 2013
That's not me being creative, that is the "German" title of the movie. The DVD was just released (2013) and I watched the movie. I have to admit I was a bit surprised that I liked it. It wasn't so much because of the twins (they look good, but are the weakest when it comes to acting, not to say the others are great of course) or the twist(s) the movie has up to the end.

It was because of the script and the obvious fun the people involved had. You have one shower scene and everything else you'd expect from a horror movie like that. Robert Patrick even felt he had to produce the movie, not only have a small part in it. It's not great by a long shot, but it's entertaining enough
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This film was so much fun!
delaG-Lisa27 July 2013
It was one hell of a roller coaster ride! I really liked how each character's psyche unraveled after they played the game. So often in horror we watch killings take place but we never learn WHY. The psychological aspect of this film is what makes it original. I was also really fascinated how accusations and jealousy would spin out of control over seemingly innocuous incidents. For example, the character, Josh, is certain that Renee had an affair with Anton when she was in Anton's room, why? - because the door was locked. When Josh confronts Renee, she insists that the door was, in fact, jammed - not locked. He then interrogates her with the question, "Then why was it closed anyway?" How many times in relationships have we had arguments with our significant other over seemingly trivial events that spiral into an all-out fight? Perhaps, when this is actually what happens when people that we read about in the papers, people whom we never would have expected to have committed a homicide, the "buttons" that get pushed, the "hot-spots", and relationship taboos that come up as a "lover's quarrel" spins out of control - this is where the lines between and murder. even lurking below the surface of Josh and Renee's quarrel, is a bottomless pit of resentment - for example, all the while, swimming in the back of Josh's mind, is the repressed anger and envy that Renee's first boyfriend was his best friend Anton, whose room she came out of with a "guilty expression," at least that what Josh swears he saw on her face. These type of relationship tiffs lurk beneath the surface of every couple in the film.
2 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Low budget horror, instantly forgettable & not very good.
Paul Andrews4 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Black Waters of Echo's Pond starts in Meandros Valley in Turkey during April 1927 where a team of archeologist's uncover some sort of tomb, inside they find some old relics including what looks like some sort of board game. Jump forward to the present where nine teenage friends have arranged to spend a relaxing weekend on an island owned by Pete (Robert Patrick) just off the coast of Maine, the friends are given the freedom of the island & Pete's house. During the first night the power fails & when checking the circuit breakers in the basement the friends find an old chest inside which is the same game that was found in Turkey in 1927 that has been hidden from human eye's for decades. Since television is banned the friends agree to play the game, a game which ask's personal questions & seems to bring out the worst in people as it explores secrets & fantasies. Unable to resist the game the friends start to turn on each other, if that wasn't enough a horned Demon possesses them & uses those in it's control to kill the other's...

Co-written & directed by Gabriel Bologna this justifiably obscure low budget horror film is only really notable for the fact it has the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) in it, otherwise this is strictly forgettable teen slasher with a hint of supernatural nonsense. The script plays it absolutely straight with no sense of humour, I suppose you could accuse The Black Waters of Echo's Pond as being an adult horror take on the great Robin Williams adventure film Jumanji (1995) in which some ancient & supernatural board game causes havoc in the present as people play it, all the aspects of the game are twisted & end up very bad for those playing but it does take a while to get going. It's about fifty minutes in before the killing starts & even then there's little more to it than your average teen slasher although the attempt to add the board game & the twisted consequences of playing it are appreciated even if they amount to nothing & like your typical teen slasher seem to revolve around sex, nudity, drinking beer & swearing. There's nothing subtle here, the script tries to explore the psychological side of the friends arguing & how things can get out of hand by both telling lies & the truth but none of it has any substance. Once things get going during the final forty odd minutes The Black Waters of Echo's Pond isn't too bad with an amusing scene in which some blonde babe teases another girl with her big breast's but again it's typical lowbrow teen slasher level writing, the twist ending is annoyingly bad & pretty much makes everything before redundant.

There's a bit of gore here, there are a couple of gory chainsaw killings, some guy gets a rake stuck in his head, someone falls face first on a bear trap, there's some blood splatter, there are some severed titties & gouged out eyes, someone's tooth is pulled out with pliers, someone is impaled on a branch, people are stabbed & shot as well. I have probably made The Black Waters of Echo's Pond gorier than it actually is but the amount of red stuff is appreciated in an otherwise poor film. For some reason which is never fully explained some half man half Goat creature turns up, it obviously has something to do with the game but it never does anything other than stand there.

The IMDb reckons The Black Waters of Echo's Pond had a budget of about $5,000,000 which I find impossible to believe, if this did cost that much where did all the money go? The real budget was probably a tenth of that figure. Both Dannielle Harris & Robert Patrick have been in some really big films & I don't think either will rate this amongst their best although they both try to put in decent performances. The rest of the cast were obviously chosen for their looks rather than ability & that blonde chick is really hot, whoever she is.

The Black Waters of Echo's Pond is a forgettable teen horror film, sure it tries to have a little bit more to than most & it's slightly gorier than most low budget horror flicks out there but it's nothing special & it takes too long to get going & once it does get going the twist ending kicks in & renders everything before pointless. That blonde bird is hot though...
1 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Odd but admirable
Steve Pulaski30 September 2013
I have been waiting an absurdly long time to see The Black Waters of Echo's Pond after missing my chance back when it had a limited theatrical release in April 2010. After that, the film vanished and wasn't released on DVD due to distribution conflicts until September 2013. I have been following its production, release, and lengthy stay in purgatory for sometime, as I did for other films such as The Poughkeepsie Tapes and The Worst Movie Ever!. I'm beginning to contemplate if I was put on this planet for reasons other than seeing film after film.

Unlike The Poughkeepsie Tapes, I didn't feel overwhelmed by greatness upon viewing The Black Waters of Echo's Pond. Horror films, as a whole, are a complete gamble, and more-so for low-budget ones, which can either be stunning works of independent craft or redundant tosh. Here is the case where a horror film becomes so wrapped up in delivering a story that affects characters that it forgets to include the jolts we expect until the end, as if it forgot its main job as a fantasy-horror film.

The film stars Danielle Harris, arguably the most famous actress here due to her role in the Hatchet films, along with James Duvall, Mircea Monroe, M.D. Walton, and several others as a group of friends who go out to a cabin in the woods for a weekend (if I had a dollar for every time I used a variation of the above sentence in a review for a horror film). They discover a board game in the cabin, which has been possessed with cockamamie powers from years past, and their choice to play the game allows for dark secrets and repressed demons to resurface, as well as a twisted turn of demonic presences to appear.

In a basic sense, the film feels like an adult Jumanji, complete with the haunted board game and the uncertain circumstances that arouse from playing it. At very least the film remains mildly intriguing just to simply see where it will go. Often I find the first twenty-five minutes of a horror film, more-so than any other genre, to be the make-it-or-break-it minutes of a horror film. Very few horror films rebound after that first twenty-five minutes and I was always curious to see where The Black Waters of Echo's Pond would end up.

That's not to say the project doesn't become flabby and a bit misguided in the latter half. As in real life, the bickering between the friends gets to be a bit insufferable. Conversations feel like they've been repeated and dialog clearly feels like it is becoming strained and repetitive. However, I applaud the trio of writers, Michael Berenson, Gabriel Bologna (who also directs), and Sean Clark for attempting to guide this horror piece into a more dialog-driven spectacle.

On the contrary, when marketing your film as one of the horror genre, you need to deliver scares in some way, shape, or form. For the trio of writers, this seems like it was an afterthought. Most of the gore and horror elements arrive around fifteen minutes before the film ends, cementing that this wasn't the writers immediate focus seeing as it's hardly a focus at all. The scares are mildly effective, but often second-rate and only emphasize a blandly eerie vibe.

What you're left with upon viewing The Black Waters of Echo's Pond is simply entertainment, a decent fantasy element exercised efficiently, passable dialog, forgettable scares, and some very nice black and teal cinematography that can only emphasize the uncomfortable atmosphere. Take it as it is and you'll find an experience at least more effective than the latest sequel or remake playing at the multiplex.

Starring: Robert Patrick, Danielle Harris, James Duval, Nick Mennell, Mircea Monroe, and M.D. Walton. Directed by: Gabriel Bologna.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews