Sept. 9, 2005
Drama, Romance, Thriller
Sara Simmonds, Jake McDorman,
Matt Vodvarka, Cody Linley, Natali Jones, Dana Jackson,
Scottie Wilkison, and Madison Wells
Nathan Todd Sims
New World Pictures
In providing movie reviews on our site, CBN.com is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.
Echoes of Innocence
Dr. Ted Baehr
Echoes of Innocence is a surprisingly well-made
movie considering its miniscule budget. Almost a supernatural
thriller, some audience members bothered by such things had to
leave the screening. However, for most teenagers and young adults,
the intensity of the suspense is exactly what they look for in
a contemporary film.
The filmmakers have turned a contemporary, rebellious teenager
movie inside out. Sarah Jenkins is a beautiful, troubled loner
whom her classmates nickname "Virg" because once upon
a time, when she was much younger, she gave a talk on her heroine,
Joan of Arc. After the talk, her classmates beat her up and ridiculed
her for being a virgin. The audience learns through flashbacks
that one young boy, Christopher, befriended her. At the tender
age of 13, they promised their love for each other and promised
that they would remain chaste and pure until they were married
on her 18th birthday.
Christopher had to move out of town, and Sarah has kept to her
promise while immersing herself in her Christian faith, including
frequent trips to a broken-down old church where she sings Psalms,
prays, does the rosary, hears God's voice, and falls into trances.
Her mother, who had Sarah out of wedlock, seems to dislike Sarah
and has been resisting her ever since Sarah's childhood romance
with Christopher. Sarah now lives with her grandmother, who pays
no attention to her whatsoever.
During her senior year of high school, two young men come into
her life. The first one, a senior named Alec, is determined to
bed her, just as he had done with many of her classmates. Alec
is the epitome of evil and even plans to blow up the school. The
other young man in her life is Dave, a journalist for the school
newspaper. Sarah unexpectedly gets the lead role in the spring
play, so Dave decides to find out who Sarah really is and to give
the play some publicity. Through an interview, Dave gets to know
Sarah, and they start to fall for one another. The question is,
will Sarah break her promise to Christopher?
Echoes of Innocence was done on a ridiculously low budget,
so there are some silly Blair Witch moments. That said,
most of the writing, cinematography, and direction is superior.
Writer and director Nathan Todd Sims has learned his craft and
knows how to keep his audience on the edge of their seats. Even
so, some of the screening audience loved this movie, some were
very enthusiastic about the abstinence message, a few were upset
that the almost Gothic loner was the heroine (because they didn't
like having the Christian always marginalized as a kook), and
some did not like the symbol-laden theology.
However, all of these concerns are the same things that may help
some young people relate to the movie. Most adolescents see themselves
as being alienated. So, instead of the typical protagonist fighting
against Christianity, Echoes of Innocence creates an
alienated heroine who has a living faith and living values.
Therefore, we commend Echoes of Innocence. It is clear
that the filmmaker has great talent and should become a major
force in the movie world.
Please address your comments to:
Nathan Todd Sims
New World Pictures
P.O Box 142858
Irving, TX 75014
Phone: (972) 506-9870
Fax: (817) 424-2376
NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine.
For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest
Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or
visit our website at www.movieguide.org.
Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood
by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and
by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and
even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year
in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription
to its magazine version, at www.movieguide.org.
The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative
articles and reviews that help parents train their children to
be media-wise consumers.
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