Admittedly, I sometimes go into a trailer knowing that all I want to do is tear into it like the immature person I often am, and I thought that Patrick Ryan Sims’ Echo Dr. was going to give me all the fodder in the world. And I’ll be damned if I’m not more stoked to watch this movie than I am in seeing Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity. Just kidding. Let’s not get crazy here. But I am legitimately interested in checking this one out.
It reads and almost looks like the kind of movie that would have played on a sci-fi version of Lifetime in the late 1980s, before everything just became about men beating women up. I say that with all the due respect that can be mustered, because there is nothing wrong with putting a little science fiction into everything. The suspenseful home invasion melodrama doesn’t include androids very often. Obviously it looks better than a TV movie, but that’s the feeling this trailer evokes. The actual movie might not make me feel this way at all. Who knows if that’s a good thing or not at this point? I just want to watch it to find out.
A lot of that rests on the docile and emotionless (or is it) performance of first-time feature actor Jonathan Hurley. He plays Dell, the android “hired” to provide home security for Mike (Dane Bowman) and Karen (Jordan Savage) and their children after their home is broken into. A man who will probably turn out to be super-evil is the one who introduces Dell and Mike, and while everything starts out fine and dandy…dum dum dum…Dell goes all wonky and believes that the family are the intruders. Who saw that coming?
So it’s more The Purge than Panic Room, and more Maniac Cop than Robocop, with a HAL-thy bit of 2001 tossed in there. Highbrow references, maybe, but one thing is for certain, technology will always try and kill us. And if it doesn’t, we end up making it want to kill us, or we kill each other. I think that’s called Alex Murphy’s Law or something.
Echo Dr. is the screenwriting and directorial debut for Sims, so he gets the Pat on the Back of the Month award for coming out of the gates with something original, instead of a zombie movie. If Dell turns out to be a zombie android, don’t tell me. Just…don’t tell me.
There’s no release date set yet for Echo Dr., so in its place, we’ll just have to keep hoping that Michael Ealy’s cop-droid tries to kill Karl Urban at some point on Fox’s Almost Human.