Earth to Echo is the found footage version of E.T. There’s no sugarcoating it. Whether it’s the film that Steven Spielberg would make in this era of filmmaking, I don’t know.
Kids discover alien. Alien lost and wants to go home. Kids become friends with the alien. Alien goes home. It’s like we’ve seen this movie before in 1982 when E.T. was released. That’s not to say I hated the movie because I didn’t. It brought a different perspective.
Directed by Dave Green, Earth to Echo stars Teo Halm, Brian “Astro” Bradley, Reese Hartwig, and Ella Linnea Wahlestedt. The screenplay was written by Henry Gayden from a story by Hayden & Andrew Panay.
Whether one feels that it closely resembles a film from the 1980s or not, the movie captures the mystery, excitment, and wonder of an extraterrestrial occurrence in Nevada. It’s about friendship. Tuck, Munch, and Alex have bonded but because a highway is being built in their neighborhood, they have no choice but to move. With their time coming to an end, they want to have one last night together. Strange and mysterious messages have appeared on their cell phones and they use this last night together to journey into the desert to search for the source. What they find in the desert only brings them closer together.
While watching the movie Tuesday night, I wasn’t even thinking about the journeys in The Goonies or Stand By Me and I guess maybe I should have because producer Andrew Panay wanted to recapture the spirit of those 1980s movies. These movies conjured the wonder and heartbreak that came with growing up while infusing it with a sense of adventure. Panay asked himself how would E.T. be made if it were being made today? In choosing Dave Green as a director, there’s a pretty good idea.
Found footage movies have evolved over the past few years and this one brings cell phones into the mix. All one has to do is press record and upload it to the internet. The kids in this movie use their own cameras, editing, and insight as they tell their story. In the case of Echo, it is Tuck, the avid, do-it-yourself filmmaker who makes the finished film that we see on screen.