Psychological thrillers have one huge advantage over other genres. They have the power to manipulate you to the last ounce. Such films play with your intelligence through a succulent narration. However, execution matters!
Echoes is a new series streaming on Netflix that aims to deliver thrill and chill blended with suspense. The most recent show I watched that had a pinch of psychical art was The Girl in the Mirror. Strangely, there also, the lead character essayed a double role.
Well, enough of the introduction, let me take you through my Echoes review.
Echoes Review Summary
Suspense, thrill, and conjugations are all present in the plot of Echoes. These elements are accentuated by startling background music. However, the show tries too much to convince you at times.
Gina returns to her hometown after a phone call reveals the heartbreaking news of her twin sister going missing. Secrets, shocks, and a tale of deceit begins post her arrival in the city.
Created by Vanessa Gazy, Echoes stars Michelle Monaghan (Leni/Gina), Matt Bomer (Jack), Karen Robinson (Floss), Jonathon Tucker (Dylan), Daniel Sunjata (Charlie), Ali Stroker (Claudia), Gable Swanlund, Rosanny Zayas, and Michael O’Neill (Victor), among others.
What Works for Echoes?
Concept and Presentation
Echoes is a suspenseful psychological thriller. Its concept is a double-edged sword; while some would love it, others would reject it outrightly. However, none would deny of it having a hook.
Twin sisters switching their personalities and messing things, in the long run, is intriguing to hear. Yes, the level of satisfaction depends on your taste; at least, you can expect some of it.
Furthermore, I loved the execution part. When you have to convince as well as confuse the audience, the scope for making mistakes becomes very thin. Echoes comes good and sumptuously presents what it sets out for initially.
The background score of Echoes is riveting and spooky. It complements the story and the scenes brilliantly while keeping you glued. A thriller requires well thought-out musical atmosphere, and Echoes succeeds in deploying it.
Echoes does well to permeate the plot with alluring ingredients. It has a gripping story that never fails to amuse you. Sometimes it surprises you, while at other junctures, it makes you think about what happened.
This Netflix series runs briskly with a taut narration. It never gives a lazy vibe and keeps you involved throughout the run time. The pace is such that all the seven episodes can be streamed in one go if you like the plot.
Michelle Monaghan plays a double role in Echoes, both of whom are at the forefront of the series. There are so many layers in her outing that you would never get bored watching her on the screen.
Whether as Lena or Gina, Monaghan efficiently controls the outlook of both the characters. Her act blossoms further when she mixes intensity with a calm countenance. Michelle’s convoluted artistic traits save the day even when the plot seems repetitive and bland. It is her supremacy that an entire series can run on her shoulders despite several downturns.
Matt Bomer, as Jack, shines in a restricted role. His screen presence is minimal, which is generally the case when the plot revolves around a titular character. However, Bomer is decent while depicting a helpless man with a heap of issues. There was no scope for him to either improvise or infuse external tricks into his act.
Karen Robinson plays a Sheriff in Echoes. Her outing is all about being overt. Instead, she should have been more authoritative and impactful. The writers could have made her character strong to make things challenging for the lead. In the present state, it seems like an opportunity wasted.
Daniel Sunjata, Ali Stroker, Gable Swanlund, and all other actors in Echoes are ideally suited to their respective parts. Nevertheless, everything circles around Michelle Monaghan.
What Doesn’t Work for Echoes?
Twists and Turns
Usually, a pacy show meandering into different areas is a good thing. But Echoes introduces vague twists that sometimes seem incredibly superficial. Creative liberties are always welcome, but there has to be an element of relatability. At least bring something that the viewer can consciously approve of.
Moreover, Echoes relies on a concept that can evoke polarizing views. Someone might love it, and the next person may not want to go forward post the third or fourth episode. In this context, stuffing it with twists that were too imaginative than practical only makes things worse.
While watching Echoes, I was mostly intrigued and hooked. However, I sometimes felt the screenplay couldn’t do justice to the background music and the concept. The makers put in a lot of effort to make things dark and gloomy when the scene didn’t require it.
Furthermore, when the newness of the idea fades, and things start to get repetitive from the 3rd or 4th episode onwards, the creators could have called in a truce instead of bombarding the show with an ostentatious screenplay.
Echoes is a good show when it could have been a brilliant one. Ardent lovers of psychological thrillers might be disappointed, but those beginning to find their genre would like it more. In any case, you can give it a go till the third episode and then decide whether you want to move forward.