Posts Tagged ‘Laurence Avenet-Bradley.’

Scorching the Retinas – Avalanche of Indy 2020

Avalanche of Indy 2020 Part the First

Welcome reader, may I present another foray into the Independent film realm. An arena where all manner of things simultaneously assault and please the senses. Features whose budgets are dwarfed by Hollywood blockbusters catering bills, in some cases individual valet’s tips, but whose ingenuity and imagination in face of such adversity is beyond remarkable. Unfortunately, a landscape ignored by many and promoted by only the brave willing to step outside of the Hollywood comfort zone. Without further ado here are my thoughts on a pair of films which have been nestled in my Inbox for some time but have only recently been permitted the time and attention they deserve.

Wakefield-project

A Wakefield Project (2019)
Canada/USA
Writer – Lindsay Seim
Director- L.A Lopes
Runtime – 88 minutes
High Octane Pictures

 

A pair of close friends blow their life savings on an Inn. That’s not so bad, this isn’t “Money Pit” after all. But wouldn’t you know, the place is haunted. Toss in a myriad of solar flares, a power cut, a mass murderer, a clairvoyant, snippets of a soundtrack plucked from a smorgasbord of classic genre flicks and…

Well, to make this short. This could have been worse. The camera work is far from horrid, the acting is competent. In actuality this has a surprising number of elements going for it. However, it’s the story and writing which let it down. The films pacing is a tad screwy and the films direction appears unsure of where it’s headed. Does it want to be a “See no Evil” clone, a Sci-Fi film, a ghost story, a homage to a Fulci classic (with listless undead with blood pouring from the eyeballs)

fulci city of the living dead

Does that come in a vegan option?

or another zombie film to add to the already mountainous pile? There’s seriously not much reasoning or explanation as to either direction. The dialogue admittedly runs the gamut of horrid through amusing. But again, this isn’t the worst film I’ve witnessed. It shows promise in some aspects although is tainted with a few scenes which appear confusing and a myriad of plot devices which make little dense overall it suffers from a story which needs tidying up some.

(trailer courtesy of The Movie Waffler)

Highlights are few and far between but include the films overactive soundtrack, an undeniable homage to a slew of genre favorites, an abattoir stage which could well be utilized to better effect and Reese; an instantly likable character (played by The Strain’s Dennis Andres) who spouts one liners and raunchy lines aplenty.

4

Watch this at your own risk. Hell, give this a few years and it’s sure to show as part of a bargain priced collection roster.

echoes of fear film

Echoes of Fear (2018)
USA
Writer – Brian Avenet-Bradley
Director – Brain Avenet-Bradley, Laurence Avenet-Bradley.
Runtime – 90 minutes
Black Butterflies, LLC

 

When a college students grandfather dies (in mysterious circumstances) she is left with his house. Caught in a little of a bind she decides to move in until she can tidy it up enough to be able to put it up for sale on the market. Her first night is restless. Awoken by strange noises and things that go bump in the night, but being the adventurous daring type, she decides to investigate (which is considerably more than I ever would).

echoes of fear - crawspace

Knock down a wall or two and voila’ you find a creepy crawlspace. But where’s Klaus?

The ‘happenings’ increase in intensity as Alicia (played convincingly by Trista Robinson) slowly unwraps the houses secrets. But will her boyfriend allow her to remain in the house long enough to unravel the enigma? Does he have ulterior motives? Just who or what is causing the disturbances and acting like such a nuisance? Why does the house have more crawlspace and hidden areas than most? Does Alicia need a Ghostbuster, an exorcist or a Handyman? And just what is up with her obsession with rodents?

These are all questions which slither through the annoying part of the brain which finds it difficult to relax as this plays out. However, I’m pleased to announce these are all overridden by the undeniable fact that this film delivers. And does it! An excellent soundtrack/score heightens the tension considerably whilst the camera provides plenty of misdirection within a setting (fun fact; the house depicted is owned by the writer/director) blanketed by shadows and objects which move seemingly of their own accord. A story which provides more than one could initially imagine provide a riveting, often palpably harrowing viewing experience (I watched this in the dark with headphones and jumped like a silly goose several times).

Echoes of Fear (2019)

As much as you try to close your eyes you’re “compelled” to watch

The films pace rarely let’s up. Alicia is stretched far beyond the point of which many others would decide to call it quits. Her tenacity, resourcefulness and bravery (I can see many calling it stupidity as they yell “oh hell, no” at the screen) is inspiring and takes the film into a different direction than others with a much similar theme. Her performance throughout is outstanding lending a credible edge to a feature which, honestly, only builds in its hypnotic nature as it progresses. Apparently, she’s cut of the rare cloth whose main characteristics include resilience to the Nth degree, eye- widening determination and not folding under pressure, no matter its origin. Based on the caliber of this performance; a rather unassuming introverted type who transforms into somewhat of a fearless explorer/sleuth. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that Trista (Robinson) becomes inundated with projects and propositions in the very near future. The neighbor’s performance (courtesy of Marshall Hilton) is also worthy of note. A character who appears concerned though respectful of boundaries whose presence only adds to the overall mystery of the film as a whole.

Echoes of Fear Neighbor

Well howdy. I’m your neighbor.

Channeling “The Changeling” (not the Angela Jolie film but rather the unforgettably well-crafted and chilling George C Scott opus from 1980), utilizing the scare tactics of “The Grudge” and the visual build-up approach of classics such as “Halloween” though never wandering into copycat realms. “Echoes of Fear” traipses into arenas one might not expect adding layer upon layer of intrigue to a story which exhilarates and continues use to keep its audience enraptured.

(Trailer courtesy of Movie Trailers Source)

To keep this short, for it would be easy to praise indefinitely, “Echoes of Fear” proves that talent (on the directorial, writing and acting fronts) still thrives within a genre that’s recently resorted to gimmicks (utilizing stern gazed habit wearing folk, creepy vintage collectables and twisting folklore and fairytale) to provide the scares. It holds the attention throughout and is bolstered by both strong performances and a fantastic atmosphere laden score. And although it doesn’t ooze with gore it still obliterates all of the checkmark spaces in the prerequisite boxes which constitute a great horror film. Suffice it to say this is a must see and deserves the hype. A huge accomplishment for the crew involved and the low budget film genre at large “Echoes of Fear” demands respect, a larger audience and (tragically) more acclaim than my words can provide.

Echoe of Fear possessed

Words fail me, perhaps a spot of interpretive dance is in order?

Don’t waste another minute, “Echoes of fear” is a fantastic example of the crème de le crème of that which the creative minds within the Indy scene have recently produced (in my opinion). Add this to the top of the “to be watched” pile. You can thank me later.

 

9.5

Cult