When I took my eight-year-old granddaughter to see Earth to Echo, I expected that she would like it even if I didn’t. The television ads showed a cute little metallic alien that reminded me of the owl in Clash of the Titans. We settled down with our movie treats and waited to be entertained.
Several uncomfortable minutes into the movie, seasick from the jerky camera movement and wondering what a second-grader was making of the adolescent comments about girls, I turned to my grandchild and whispered, “Do you like it?” She whispered back, hopefully, “Maybe it will get better.”
We continued to watch as the camera shots continued to shake, and the story progessed to the part where the boys bring the alien back to civilization where it proceeds to destroy a store interior. I’m not sure how far we got. My eight-year-old companion was appalled when the boys broke into a girl’s house where the alien wrecked the girl’s bedroom. At some point we looked at each other and simultaneously said, “Let’s go!”
The chief thing that makes this film unwatchable is the amateurish “found camera” technique. That and the use of computer and iPhone screenshots. I don’t need to pay $10 for the opportunity to look at an unedited stream of computer images that a real-life 12-year-old video enthusiast would be embarrassed to post to YouTube.
When I left the theater, I was convinced that the movie must be the product of very young filmmakers with a meager literary background. I was astounded to discover that the director, David Green, was born in 1948 and graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Language and Literature.
The handful of reviews that I have read are uniformly polite about this film, almost as if the reviewers don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. They invariably conclude by saying that youngsters will like it.
I know one youngster who didn’t like it. One of her reiterated outraged comments was, “Once, all you could see was hay!”
Earth to Echo is just awful.