'Earth to Echo' repeats stories of the past
With echoes of The Blair Witch Project, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Stand By Me, and the original Clash of the Titans, Earth to Echo could have easily been a sloppy mess. Fortunately, this well-written and well-acted film pulls all of the right cues from these movies to produce a pleasantly predictable family film.
Using the first person camera point of view, Earth to Echo is capable of delivering a couple of jump scares, even though they are predictable, through cinematography and sound. The story of a couple of boys who are losing their homes to a freeway project and who go on a trip to find an alien (they do not know that is what they are going to find) combines the camaraderie of Stand By Me with the destination of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
While this film has been compared to Spielberg’s masterpiece E.T. It falls short because while the poster carries an image of the finger of Elliot, it lacks the heart of 1982’s iconic film. It does have the awe producing special effects of Spielberg’s Close Encounters.
Because the story is told from the perspective of the children, the shadow government agency is never developed, and the moral of the story is stated loudly and clearly. Still, it is the friendships and the bonds that are formed through shared experience that make this movie worth watching.
Movie goers who are looking for something new will not find it in this film. Those who are looking to see a movie that has some cool effects but lives on the strength of its actors’ skill in delivering believable character stereotypes are in for a treat. Earth To Echo isn’t earth-shaking, but it is captivating.