The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond

This generic horror meller would be most at home debuting on Syfy.

With: Robert Patrick, Danielle Harris, James Duval, Mircea Monroe, Elise Avellan, Electra Avellan, Walker Howard, M.D. Walton, Arcadiy Golubovich, Nick Mennell, Sean Lawlor, Jason Loughridge.

Silly, scareless “The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond” finds yet another group of disposable youths unleashing yet another ancient evil something or other, to their inevitable detriment. Though this generic horror meller would be most at home debuting on Syfy — perhaps double-billed with “Pinata: Survival Island” — director/co-scenarist Gabriel Bologna’s feature opens across the country in limited release April 9. That leap-of-faith move will pay off best in heightened home-format awareness.

A 1927-set prologue finds Americans excavating a lost temple of the pagan god Pan, with (mostly offscreen) fatal results. In the present day, nine college friends arrive to party on a Maine isle whose cranky caretaker (Robert Patrick) relates its violent history. The visitors find a hidden board game that, when played, releases a rubber-suit “ghoul” that possesses each in turn with a murderous case of the green-eyed monster. Multinational, multiethnic protags are so shallow and bitchy we can hardly wait for them to start getting offed, but it takes nearly an hour for that mayhem to commence. Even then, pacing remains flat, exacerbated by bad dialogue, some subpar f/x and variable perfs. Overall production values are B-grade, cable-ready.

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The Black Waters of Echo's Pond

Production: A Parallel Media release of a Parallel Media and Project 8 Films production. Produced by Jason Loughridge, Raymond J. Markovich. Executive producers, Olga Mirimskaya, Arcadiy Golubovich. Directed by Gabriel Bologna. Screenplay, Bologna, Sean Clark, Michael Berenson.

Crew: Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Massimo Zeri; editors, Andrew Cohen, Michael Spencer; music, Henry Manfredini; production designers, Michael Fitzgerald, Samson Kellman. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, April 2, 2010. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: With: Robert Patrick, Danielle Harris, James Duval, Mircea Monroe, Elise Avellan, Electra Avellan, Walker Howard, M.D. Walton, Arcadiy Golubovich, Nick Mennell, Sean Lawlor, Jason Loughridge.

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