Bologna's The Black Waters of Echo's Pond
comes across as a strange concoction.
For one thing, it doesn't seem able to make up its mind as to whether or
not it is a straight out horror film or if it is meant to be played as a tongue-in-cheek,
winking- at-the-audience type of movie. My
guess would be the former given the overall creepiness that the film admirably
attempts to create, though not always successfully. Like the new DVD and Blu-ray release of All the Boys Love Many Lane (2006),
which also deals with a similar theme of male and female teens going off to a
large manse with the hopeful promise of sex, the film was shot a good number of
years ago, probably around 2007/2008. To
me, still the only recognizable performers are Robert Patrick, Danielle Harris,
James Duval, Electra Avellan and Elise Avellan.
Black Waters starts off
promisingly enough but tends to drag at times despite lasting the usual hour
and-a-half. It ends with a denouement
that any seasoned horror film fan will see coming, but that is not to say that
the film is a total loss as there is much to admire here, especially the fairly
cool title and the even cooler old-style '70's-inspired movie poster.
starts with a prologue wherein a group of archeologists are excavating a dig in
1927 and this, like in William Friedkin's The
Exorcist (1973), unleashes an evil spirit.
Flash forward 80 years to the same location whereupon a big house owned
by Pete (Robert Patrick) is built right on the spot where the spirit was
discovered. Pete loans the house to
family friend Anton (Arcadiy
Golubovich) and his wife Erica (Elise Avellan).
The couple is joined by Anton's best friend Josh (Nick Mennell)
and his girlfriend Renee (Electra Avellan) who also used to be Anton's
girlfriend. But, hey, everything's cool,
right! Um, no! Not only will this
situation prove to turn the cabin into a pressure cooker of accusations, festering
resentment and nasty secrets, but the evil spirits brought forth by the board
game that Anton finds in the basement will make them wish that they broke out
Trivial Pursuit instead.
(James Duval) is a mutual friend who shows up uninvited and incurs frowns and
mean looks from just about everyone, especially Kathy (Danielle Harris) who really
has it in for him as she blames him for the drunk driving death of her
brother. As they play the board game, accusations
and dares flip flop and eventually the board possesses the participants. It becomes difficult at times to gauge if
what we are seeing is real or a game within a game along the lines of David
Cronenberg's eXistenZ (1999).
performances for the most part are quite good.
Electra Avellan and Elise Avellan give good dramatic turns, yet I still
cannot tell the two of them apart - will one of these ladies get a tattoo
somewhere noticeable, please? Danielle
Harris fans will love her here as she not only gives a good performance but she
looks very sexy, too.
is also a strange half man, half beast creature running around...
film's transfer on Blu-ray is a colorful affair. The sound is also very strong and typifies
what you would expect from a modern film.
There is an extended alternate beginning included as an extra, although
I really would have liked a commentary with some of the behind-the-scenes folks
to give us a rundown of the film's origin and its problematic history.
to order from Amazon.com.