The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond (limited)

You wanna paycheck, C-list Semi-Celebs? Then step right up the Black Waters of Echo’s Pond casting call!

Oh, hey, everybody check it out, here comes Robert Patrick from the X-Files and shit! I always considered him the poor man’s Ray Liotta, but whatever, T2 kicked ass! And he’s got a role!

Dude, look over there, it’s Danielle Harris, the kiddie actress from a bunch of Halloween movies! Sure, she‘s cute as a button, but it’s still no secret that she couldn‘t act her way through an iCarly rehearsal! And she’s got a role!

Whoa, and James Duval is even making an appearance! I mean, he was like 30 when he appeared in 2002′s May, so these days he’s got to be around….oh man, honestly, who cares about his age, and who cares that he was never able to capitalize on his plagiarized Keanu Reeves stoner schtick, it’s just so awesome to see all these pedestrian actors appearing together in the same piece of shit movie!

Sort of like a cross between Jumanji and a rigorously plotted episode of Gossip Girl, Black Waters of Echo’s Pond concerns a gaggle of 20-somethings that stumble upon a mysterious board game while vacationing in a cabin on a secluded Maine island. Lubricated by plenty of vodka (and later, by several stingy-looking joints), the friends soon find themselves heavily involved in the game, a mixture of Candyland and Truth or Dare. But this particular group of friends is harboring more secret grudges than the Middle East, so when the truth comes out, anger eventually follows.

Black Waters almost works as a psychological thriller. Sure, the acting is mediocre and the dialogue is contrived, but co-writer/director Gabriel Bologna still manages to set a decent pace. These friends have been repressing some awfully dirty secrets, and it is sort of fun to learn about their most personal thoughts and evil deeds as they continue to play the game. But then Black Water‘s plot turns to horror. And when it turns to horror, it turns to shit.

The problem starts and ends with this: Black Waters isn’t scary. At all. Ever. Not once. It’s a barely diverting psychological thriller that sometimes employs screeching orchestral stings (from Friday the 13th composer Harry Manfredini, no less) in an attempt to force you to be scared. But it doesn’t work. Even when some of the friends get possessed by a goat-faced Pan and begin turning on each other, the flick simply refuses to turn up the tension. Like a Halloween skit performed by toddlers, Black Waters of Echo’s Pond is occasionally interesting, but never frightening.

 

Official Score