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The Black Waters of Echo's Pond


Don't even dip your toes.

Rod Lott September 3rd, 2013

To paraphrase a character late in The Black Waters of Echo's Pond, anything to get off this movie. From the start, director Gabriel Bologna (The Asylum's 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea) has no real hold on the material; what little there is gets so far away from his grasp that his last name proves accidentally apt.

blackwaters

The horror film begins in 1927 Turkey, where an excavation unearths cave etchings of the great god Pan, which somehow inspires one of the explorers to craft a board game based on what they found. Skip to present-day Maine, where that board game is found in a lakeside cabin by — surprise! — a bunch of annoying 20-somethings on a weekend vacation. 


Although they pull the game out of a wall in a corner of the basement, the young people fail to see any problem. It's well-designed, like a satanic Mouse Trap, yet the rules turn it into a highly sexualized version of Truth or Dare. The players lose their social filter; their eyes morph into pitch-black orbs; a goat man prances around — and none of this has to do with them being drunk and stoned. 


Black Waters covers little ground, and unfortunately takes its sweet time to do it. Worst of all — with the exception of Mircea Monroe (TV's Episodes), Mircea Monroe's breasts (they have their own Twitter account), Danielle Harris (Hatchet III) and the extended cameo by Robert Patrick (Identity Thief) — Bologna has cast such thoroughly unappealing actors that spending 89 minutes with them is akin to torture.


OK, OK, so I exaggerate. Settle for "a chore"? After all, in an era where big-budget theatrical product can take a scant three to four months to hit DVD, there has to be a reason 2009's Black Waters took five years. —Rod Lott


Hey! Read This:

• Episodes: The First Season DVD review

• Hatchet III Blu-ray review

• Identity Thief Blu-ray review


 
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