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THE BLACK WATERS OF ECHO'S POND...
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Reviewed by: Zombie Boy

Directed by: Gabriel Bologna

Starring:
Robert Patrick
Danielle Harris
Sean Lawlor

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A group of (mostly) friends discover an evil board game that feeds on their negative emotions, with deadly consequences.
Is it good movie?
I can sum this movie up in two words: demonic Jumanji. I actually quite liked the concept: a group of friends discover an evil board game that causes them to reveal deep-seated secrets and fears, and once the shame, fear, and anger build up, quite literally possesses them to commit murder. It puts me in mind of all those awful "party games" that offer you the ability to embarrass yourself in front of your friends, and cause you to have arguments and go to bed mad (and even worse, without snoo-snoo). Alas, concept does not a good movie make.

The issues I have with this film are manifold, and begin, well, at the beginning. The set up for the creation of the game is silly: some archaeologists find ancient runic drawings of Pandemonium, and decide they simply must recreate...a board game. Ugh. Then the group of "friends" is that disparate type you see all too often in horror films, where you ask yourself why this group of d-bags hang out, when they clearly don't like each other. They let out their innermost secrets and shames way too easily, and continue playing the obnoxious game even as members of the group peel off into other rooms for various shenanigans. When there were only two people (out of nine) left in the room, and one of them said, "My turn!" my eyes rolled harder than the dice.

What's even less clear to me than how the friends knew the owner of the lone house on the island where they go to die, er, I mean vaca, is how they wrangled Robert Patrick as said owner. He's listed as an executive producer, and that plus his mere presence gave me (a dashed) hope for the film. Danielle Harris is here, too, along with the kid who played Frank in DONNIE DARKO. There is also some lesbian kissing and a boob scene, as well as some decent kills and what would have been a neat ending if I'd cared enough by then. But mostly it's unlikeable people not liking each other for way too long before they finally start killing each other.
Video / Audio
Video: 1080p, 1.78:1. Looks a bit like a TV movie.

Audio: TrueHD 5.1, with optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles.
The Extras
The only feature here is an alternate opening, which shows what became of the archaeologists who recreated the game in a more obvious way than the prologue they eventually went with. I think the final version is superior.
Last Call
The basic premise of this movie is: demonic Jumanji. It's a great concept, and has a few neat twists, some decent kills, and some boobs and lesbian stuff, but unfortunately just about every other aspect of the film derails the whole enterprise. The prologue is silly and unnecessary, it drags its feet with the game playing, and there are no decent characters upon which to hang your caring, and as such there is never any suspense. Catch it some night on Netflix when you're super bored, but that's about the best I can say for it.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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