Sydney, 30’s, pale, skinny but a lot going on behind her eyes, cooks dinner just like she does every night in her spacious but crowded basement unit apartment. She hears a noise down the hall. Strange as she lives alone. She flicks the hallway light switch but doesn’t work. She slowly walks down the hallway with a knife. She hears something at the open window…then sees a cat’s silhouette walk by the window. She spins around into the room but…nothing. She turns back to the window and a man crawls in the window!
Sydney wakes from a nightmare in her dark boarded up apartment.
Sydney believes she's found balance in her chaotic mind. A horrible tragedy has led to agoraphobia. She has the fear of God leaving her house so she's shut herself in for a couple years at least. She's lost track.
She's covered up the windows. Taken up a remote job on her laptop. Does video calls with friends. Has neighbors get groceries for her. Takes her medication religiously. She's existing.
Her awkward neighbor, VERN, suggests that phobias are triggered by childhood trauma and she needs to figure out what that was and confront it in order to overcome it.
She researches her past. Even makes a video call to her estranged sister to ask tough questions about their past. Her sister bristles, tells Sydney to "never contact her again", and hangs up.
Sydney then gets strange messages in her grocery items such as “You can free yourself if you commit.” She wants to ask her friendly grocery delivery friend but he's never the delivery guy anymore. Sydney's getting antsy and needs answers.
Then in the dead of the night, she hears a commotion coming from the study down the hall. She steps down the hall and peers into her study. It's the intruder from her nightmare crawling into the window!
Soon Sydney finds herself repeating this nightmare scenario over and over again but her agoraphobia has her trapped in her own apartment. Something must give. Do these mysterious messages hold the clue to her salvation? Is something in her past waiting to be discovered? Will someone in her life save her from her fate?
She must find an answer. The next time the intruder breaks in might be the last time. When she finally does find a clue to that answer, it changes everything and her entire world is not what it once was.
Sydney's psyche is a battered shell. Yet she clings to her former self, a strong woman who loves deeply. Her deep sensitivity may be what's led to her psychological downfall. Nevertheless, she's now against a wall where she must confront her own demons to save her sanity and her life.
POTENTIAL FEMALE LEAD ACTRESSES
Vern is Sydney's neighbor who is her eyes to the world and surrogate therapist. He's there for her. He gets her groceries. Makes deliveries. He's a shoulder to cry on. There may be some sparks simmering which could ruin everything.
PROPOSED SUPPORTING ACTORS
Eventually Sydney crosses paths with a mysterious janitor who's holds the key to Sydney's salvation. But Felton has some deep psychological problems of his own. Can he overcome them? Or is he really there to save her?
PROPOSED SUPPORTING ACTORS
Home invasion films have been a staple at the box office. The Echoing relies on a well-worn formula that amps up tension with a scenario where something must give.
I've always found the contained thriller a fascinating cinematic landscape. I love movies where the main character is thrust into a predicament that they have to make tough choices to get out of.
The setting of "The Echoing" mirrors the mindscape of Sydney. She's afraid of the outside world. But she may be more afraid of who she's become because of her agoraphobia. Her apartment is a refuge, but also a prison cell. The intruder represents the change in life that we all must face whether we like it or not.
Thrillers are much more effective when we're in the world of the character's mind. So their mind's gotta be interesting! I can't wait to explore Sydney's paranoia, her chaos, her focus, her determination with dark shadows, still moments, creepy noises and gut-wrenching decisions that lead to wild plot twists and make it an entirely different movie.
This movie is a horrifying puzzle. You must figure out the puzzle before your sanity frays. Before you get killed. If the killer is even real.