Despite the bad reviews I’d read, I decided to see the Black Waters of Echo’s Pond.  I find that what I like in horror movies is often a lot different from what’s mentioned by other reviewers, and I thought the premise sounded kind of neat.

 

 

 

The film is about a group of 20-somethings who decide to spend a weekend at their friend’s house on an island in Maine.  They find a weird board game, and hey, why not play it, right?  After all, they’re there to spend time with each other and reconnect as a group, and they want to do more than sit around and watch TV, smoke pot, and get drunk.

 

 

Unfortunately for them, this game can bring forth the spirit of Pan.  And I don’t mean the Neverland variety – this is Pan the trickster with the creepy goat horns and stuff.  Mythological Pan.  He’s not really a nice guy, and he doesn’t have a fairy friend with magic flight-inducing dust.

 

Pan is only shown here and there in very fleeting moments.  I was actually impressed by how he was handled.  It would’ve been easy to go over the line into Cheesyville with this guy, but the film managed to make his appearances enough to be creepy without turning him into That Latex Thing That Goes Bump in the Night.  And Pan Jumanji makes each of these people start to suspect things from one another – huge betrayals.  As you can imagine, this sort of trickery leads to great mayhem and a bit of carnage.

 

Several of the reviews I’ve read state that the movie relies too heavily on horror cliches.  I beg to differ.  I think it was a fairly balanced mix of elements, and there are some very cool psychological and social issues that blend in almost seamlessly with the expected Horror Movie Stuff.

 

If you like psychological horror, you’ll probably find some very interesting things in this movie.  And if you like slasher films, you’ll probably find something you’ll like, too.  The movie blends elements from almost every horror variety, and it manages to do so without major special effects or over-the-top gore.   Don’t get me wrong – there’s gore.  But it isn’t to the point of simply visceral reaction.

 

It’s got an interesting plot if you follow the dynamics of all the friendships involved and if you pay attention to small details.  Overall, I think this movie deserves a little more credit than most have given it.  If you’ve got the chance and you like the genre, check it out.  I’d love to hear more opinions.

 

 

3.5 Chicas