Echoes of Violence, evoking slow-burn crime thrillers of yesteryear from writer/director Nicholas Woods, clumsily handles big topics like immigration and sex trafficking. However, its devotion to unfolding the story in an almost Tarantino style makes this a must-see. It spends a significant amount of time intimately acquainting us with its unique set of characters, and the final act delivers with a big, explosive payoff.
After saving Marakya (Michaella Russell) from an attacker near a secluded Arizona home he is showing, real estate agent Alex (Heston Horwin) becomes wrapped up in her situation, whether he likes it or not. Bloodied, damaged and disturbed, Marakya is from Africa and discloses that she has fled from her immigration lawyer who doubles as a sex trafficker. She has incriminating evidence on his business. Marakya doesn’t want to run anymore—now, she wants to stop Anthony (Taylor Flowers) and his entire operation permanently.
Echoes of Violence is split into chapters, with the first chunk of the movie dealing with Marakya and Alex on the run, and I was invested right from the start. The first time the movie veers off on what seems like a tangent with another character, it caused a disconnect and seemed a bit random. This wasn’t just some strange aside, however; it ends up being crucial to the narrative.
There is obvious padding that bothered me slightly, as I think a tighter runtime could have highlighted the strengths. I grew to like the film’s approach to the storytelling more and more as it went on. It all culminates in a satisfying way. The acting and scripting work together to create a harmonious synchronicity. If you are a fan of revenge thrillers of the 80s and especially the 90s, Echoes of Violence brings the familiar vibes to a modern setting.
Echoes of Violence comes to VOD on Tuesday, August 24th.