While it’s nice to see that proponents of found-footage cinema are still strongly invested in moving the subgenre away from its horror roots, I just wish that more upcoming projects hinted at even a spark of originality. The first trailer for this summer’s Earth to Echo, a found-footage sci-fi flick set for release in July, appears to mash up Steven Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial and J.J. Abrams’ Super 8, but I can’t spy much about the project that seems even remotely intriguing.
You can check out the trailer below, and let us know what you think in the comments section, but I’m incredibly underwhelmed by the footage on display here. Even overlooking the fact that viewers will be treated to whiplash-inducing camerawork from a group of terrified kids, nothing stands out about the characters or even the central alien (evidently named Echo for its method of communication with the kids who uncover it).
Perhaps I’m being too harsh on Earth to Echo. After all, director Dave Green (making his feature debut after a series of shorts) has secured a PG rating for the film, which will make it one of the few found-footage films appropriate for the whole family. Additionally, there’s a chance that unproven writers Henry Gayden (who previously worked with Green on shorts Ham Sandwich and Zombie Roadkill) and Andrew Panay might have something interesting to say in this tale of an alien on the run. We also shouldn’t forget that E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial and Super 8 were both great movies, so the incorporation of found-footage into a similar story might not turn out terribly.
Still, this trailer looks so painfully generic that I can’t help but think those involved would have hinted at a little more inventiveness if there was any to find. Yeah, I’m calling this right now – Earth to Echo looks like a real turkey.