Earth To Echo Review

The Plot

With their homes being removed to make way for a new highway, three friends decide to spend their final night together trying to figure out the mystery behind a strange map that begins to appear on their phones. Armed with handheld cameras and their bikes, the boys soon come across a lost alien/robot looking for his ship.

The Good

Found footage films almost exclusively fall predictably into the horror genre, with only a few notable exceptions. Earth To Echo is perhaps the first found footage film for children since the genre took off. And it’s odd to think it’s taken so long. On the other hand it’s easy to see why.

Found footage has always been inextricably associated with horror and it’s obviously not a genre that lends itself to family friendly fare. However, with Earth To Echo audiences get a traditional family film which surprisingly manages to make the most of the medium.

Although the film occasionally jumps audiences out of their seats with well timed scares, the central plot of three heroes setting out on a mysterious nighttime quest is generally much less intense. Building suspense without ever risking traumatising younger audiences

Then of course we have Echo. The titular robot/alien hybrid is the heart of the film and brings with him, echoes (no pun intended) of ET. A lost alien looking for a way back home is definitely not a new story. However Earth to Echo gives it a modern update and makes it feel like a traditional family classic with a dash of YouTubing mixed in for good measure. Sort of a mix of ET and The Goonies with a tiny sprinkling of Super 8 added in.

The three main cast members do their job well, despite their young age. With them, and the young girl who comes into the story, being really the only fleshed out characters in the film it’s nice to see them work together and play off each other easily.

The Bad

There’s not much to criticize about Earth to Echo. It’s put together well enough and has no real gaping holes in either plot or character. The film’s only real flaw or vice is occasionally being  a little overly unrealistic. The fact that these children have access to quite extensive camera equipment is rather ridiculous. The most dubious item being a camera built into a pair of sunglasses that look completely out of place in a child’s possession.

Also it would have been nice to have some of the adult characters, such as the parents having more to do than simply being proof of existence in the background. But as mentioned before, the child actors hold the film together well enough on their own.

The Ugly Truth

Earth to Echo is a well done family film which brings the found footage genre to a new audience, hopefully paving the way for more opportunities like this. With great nods to classic family films and a simple yet engaging storyline, Echo is definitely worth a trip to the cinema with the kids.

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