The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond (2009)
Review by Jude Felton
Some films, for whatever reason it may be, sit on the shelf somewhere, before they finally get a release. Some, such as Cabin in the Woods, are well worth the wait, and makes you wonder what on earth the film studio was thinking by keeping it hidden away. Others, such as the one I review now, should be kept locked away, with the key melted down and sold as scrap.
Now, it’s rare that I truly lambast a film, as I’m pretty easy going and I rarely find the energy to waste on negative reviews. However, in the case of The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond, I will make an exception, if not just to warn you and your hard earned money away.
Made in 2009 and featuring a decent cast, with the likes of Danielle Harris and Robert Patrick, this film is finally seeing the light of day on Blu-ray and DVD, and I must say that it had potential.
Back in 1927 a team of archaeologists in Egypt discover an ancient artifact, of which they bring back to the States to study more. Things go tits up and just about everyone dies. Skip forward to the present day and a group of kids, and Danielle Harris, all head out to the very same house, where they discover said artifact, which is in fact a sort of game.
Seeing as though no one in the last 80 plus years had found this well hidden, but not that well hidden, game, they decide to play it. Smart move. Before long the group are bitching and moaning at each other, digging up deep dark secrets and carving each other up with chainsaws. Oh, and a weird goat-like demon keeps popping up while everyone’s eyes turn black.
That’s pretty much it, and despite what it looks like it is not very much fun at all. Nothing happens for long stretches, nothing makes all that much sense and I cared not one iota for the kids involved.
You might describe The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond as a cross between Evil Dead 2 and Jumanji, and you’d be spot on. However, Evil Dead 2 rocked and starred Bruce Campbell, and Jumanji starred an exceptionally hairy Robin Williams, and at the time of release had some bloody good special effects. Echo’s Pond has neither and is nowhere near approaching fun.
Now, there are a couple of plus points about the film; it’s bloody gruesome in places, and they don’t hold back too much on the gore, as chainsaws do make a mess, and as a film it does look decent enough. However, you’ll barely notice Harris, who although does have one of the leads, has been given an incredibly bland script to work with. Patrick, who also serves as an Executive Producer, seems to be having fun with his supporting role, but 5 minutes of him on screen cannot save this mess.
There are some films out there that don’t receive Blu-ray releases and I, along with many friends, question these decisions. Anchor Bay, however, have seen fit to grant this film with an HD release. Why? Sure, it looks all fine and dandy, but there’s no escaping the fact that the film is crap.
What really grinds my gears though, is that just as the archaeologists should have left things well alone, this film should have remained locked away in the very same tomb. Then bombed and had a parking lot built on top of it. It might be rare for me to go off on a film like this, but it is also rarer for me to be so damned pissed once a film finishes; even the goddamn ending is a pisstake.
Throw this back in the pond.
The Black Waters of Echo's Pond is released on Blu-ray and DVD by Anchor Bay on September 10th.