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  Echoes of Fear Housesitter
Year: 2018
Director: Brian Avenet-Bradley, Laurence Avenet-Bradley
Stars: Trista Robinson, Hannah Race, Paul Chirico, Marshal Hilton, Elif Savas, Danilo Di Julio, Ian Heath, Norman Zeller, Curt Lambert
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Alisa (Trista Robinson) has recently received news of a bereavement: her grandfather passed away, and as he was her only living relative, she feels understandably bereft. He did leave her his house, however, which is a large building that would suit her well, so she decides to move in and use her inheritance to spruce it up. Her grandfather also left a pet mouse which she quickly makes friends with and allows to investigate various parts of the place, and the neighbour seems friendly enough, so maybe this will go well. On the other hand, she does have the strange feeling of being watched, or at least not being alone in there, and begins to wonder how much of that is down to her imagination and how much is actually happening...

Echoes of Fear was the creation of the husband and wife team of Brian Avenet-Bradley and Laurence Avenet-Bradley and did quite nicely for itself on the festival circuit, especially for a tiny budget effort. When you knew it was filmed in the couple's own home, that would explain why the story was so keen to use ever last nook and cranny of the central house, presumably because shooting anywhere else would have necessitated a permit, and if they were simply using their own pad to make their movie, they could do whatever they liked in there as long as they did not disturb the neighbours. Even so, there was a degree of banging and even smashing down walls and doors involved in the making of the project.

Robinson was the lead, a Kay Lenz lookalike who worked well with the mouse, and she was joined by the best friend character Steph, played by former figure skater Hannah Race, for moral and physical support when things started to get weird. Alisa also had a boyfriend, Brandon (Paul Chirico), and the question of who among those was most likely to get the chop was answered in an unconventional way, unconventional for your average horror low budgeter anyway. Thankfully, it was not the mouse, who emerged as something of the main attraction, coming in handy for the investigations, as if this was a Scooby-Doo update with the dog replaced by a small rodent; any scene that featured the little critter was by no means a waste of time, and if the whole film had been from his point of view, that would have been no bad thing.

As it was, we were in the territory of our heroine trying to fathom why it is exactly that she is so creeped out by what to all intents and purposes should be a run of the mill, average suburban dwelling. Is it because her grandfather died there? Does he haunt the place? We have seen in the first minute him taking a shower only to be attacked by a mysterious entity, and that's what apparently killed him, so is Alisa in danger from the supernatural? This is what we are led towards, but the conclusion was something different, though not so different that you would be sent reeling by its revelation, it was a twist we had seen before in other horrors and thrillers, and indeed tied in with the Scooby-Doo tone to the set-up. As Alisa battles with bad plumbing and peculiar visions, the scene was set for a showdown; to say more would give it all away, and Echoes of Fear was not futile for chiller addicts, but the impression it was nothing too original did work against the overall satisfaction. Hooray for the mouse, though. Music by Benedikt Brydern.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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