I’m 31 years old, but I’ll be damned if I don’t still enjoy being mentally driven back to childhood by a film that draws upon nostalgia for children’s adventures that were written with a heart instead of with a deadline. Sure, the above trailer for the PG-rated indie film Earth to Echo sort of looks like a ripoff of Josh Trank’s Chronicle by way of a weeklong Stephen Spielberg marathon, but we’ve seen more than enough adult-oriented films do their share of reproducing stories and themes, so why not let the kids do some damage for a while.

As the first feature from director Dave Green, Earth to Echo adapts the found-footage technique to tell the story of a group of kids that begin receiving mysterious text messages soon after a large-scale construction project begins in their area. As the adults repeatedly fail to heed the children’s warnings, it’s up to the young explorers to figure out what’s going on. And apparently what’s going on is an alien egg with an alien still in it. And it’s a good thing they’ve got that camera around to document everything, or no one would believe them still.

There, the defense of using the found-footage trope is written into the story. It’s foolproof.

Facetious though I may sound, I’m pretty intrigued by the trailer, courtesy of TheWrap. It probably won’t be quite as heartwarmingly sweet as E.T., or as gung ho fun as The Goonies, but there’s a lot of potential in a story about kids who find aliens. Super 8, with its exquisite cast of child actors, featured a story that just didn’t stack up with the performances, and Chronicle kind of faltered in the same way, with both films feeling they needed to build up to something enormous instead of just building a better story foundation. Let’s hope there’s a lot of life written into this screenplay from Henry Gayden, who worked with Green on FEARnet’s 2010 horror comedy series Zombie Roadkill.

Even the first poster offers just enough whimsy to catch my curiosity, and makes me wonder if it would be too much to wish for something that challenged the imagination like Disney’s The Black Hole.

earth to echo poster

We’ll have to wait a little longer for an extended trailer, but Relativity Media will be releasing Earth to Echo in theaters on April 25, 2014. While it doesn’t have any aliens in it, check out Green’s short workplace comedy film Ham Sandwich below.

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