Monday, October 05, 2009

The ECHO will be showing this week

The ECHO is here!
By Reymundo Salao

The long wait is over. The Hollywood remake of the tagalog horror movie SIGAW, which is entitled ECHO is now going to be released in Philippine movie theaters. SIGAW was directed by Yam Laranas, whose directing skills really are impressive in terms of coherence in its storytelling, matched with great cinematography. Yam is not only a master in visual beauty, but also prefers to tell his stories in a very orderly fashion, one that makes his movies be at par with good foreign films. When he made SIGAW, the film became a success and probably has come up to become the best horror movie to come from local cinema. The reason for this, is not because of the popular actors and actresses in it, but because of Yam’s vision. His concept of horror that slowly builds up from creeping you psychologically and into a fiesta of terror. At the time it was released, SIGAW was marketed to be an Angel Locsin and Richard Guttierez movie. But their performances were actually sort of satisfactory, because the actress that truly has pushed the movie into being a great film is Iza Calzado, who plays as the ghastly apparition that dwells the apartment compound which is the setting of the movie. Joemari Yllana is also the other actor that was the driving force of that movie, as he plays an abusive policeman whose cruelty reflects real life horror characters that unfortunately exist in every day life.

When SIGAW was marketed internationally, the film gained popularity among horror aficionados around the world. Just like the popularity of Japan’s The Ring, Ju-on (The Grudge), and Hongkong’s The Eye, SIGAW which is entitled internationally as The ECHO was then taken interest by Hollywood to do an American remake of. Vertigo Entertainment, which is responsible for the Hollywood remakes of The Ring & The Grudge, had acquired from Regal Films the rights to The ECHO (SIGAW) and to produce a remake for the movie. Much to the pride of Filipinos, they wanted Yam Laranas himself to direct the movie, in addition, Iza Calzado was also included in the remake, reprising her role as the ghastly apparition. The film also includes Jesse Bradford, Amelia Warner, and Kevin Durand in their cast.

The remake was done in 2008 and made a good run at various prominent film festivals around the world. Unfortunately, due to the recent recession and also the way Hollywood has been working (if you ask me, Hollywood has been devolving, slowly becoming more and more commercial and becoming less focused on real cinema), the film would not be having a North American theatrical release. On a lighter note, The ECHO had great success in its theatrical run in South Korea, which has become the recent bastion of Asian Cinema (what with the success of films like The HOST and THIRST). The ECHO was able to enjoy basking in the top ten at the South Korean box office during its release. A clear indication that The ECHO is not something to be underestimated upon.

Now the work of Filipino Yam Laranas has come home to be released on its home country. It is to be released here in Iloilo City and nationally on October 7, 2009. Now this is one movie watch out for. My only problem is that the local media is not giving it much attention. Hey! THIS IS A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE MADE BY A FILIPINO! Heads up, man! I am upset because; just because this film is not under the hands of companies affiliated with the two giant local networks, they’re not giving it enough attention. Well, spread the word, because this is one Hollywood movie us Pinoys should be proud of. Mark the date. October 7. See you at the theaters!

1 comment:

Yam Laranas said...