Follow TV Tropes


Film / Earth to Echo

Go To

Earth to Echo is a 2014 Science Fiction film shot in a unique style that resembles Found Footage Films, centered around 4 kids who discover a tiny "spaceship" a few miles away from their neighborhood and helping the small alien trapped inside, whom they name Echo, return home.

Tropes used include:

  • Ambiguous Gender: Tuck notes that Echo could be a female alien, so they ask him and find out he is in fact male.
  • Bad Liar: Munch. He was coached to tell his parents that he's spending the night at a friend's house, which he fumbles his way through. This is later Played for Laughs as Alex's mom calls Munch's cell phone, and he does a terrible job imitating his own mom to convince her that everything was fine. Later on, he accidentally contradicts his friends when a construction worker asked if they'd been in the desert that night, which is where they found Echo. They only avoid having to answer any more questions, because of Emma's Hysterical Woman act.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Emma's Hysterical Woman act as detailed below. Alex gets a moment like this near the end, where his beeping noises help revive the seemingly comatose Echo.
  • Birds of a Feather: Echo and Alex, who also feels homeless due to being a foster kid.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Kids managed to help Echo get home and locate his Ship without destroying the Neighborhood and the Highway construction has been call off. Despite all that, Alex and Munch still moved, but the kids meet again sometime later, waiting to meet Echo again.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Echo's ability to disassemble and reassemble machinery, repeatedly used in the first half of the movie to repair his pod, saves everyone's lives when they're about to hit a truck speeding in the opposite direction. He takes it apart and rebuilds it on the other side. And then used again in the finale, when Echo has to dig his ship out from under the town. He does it in pieces to avoid destroying the whole place.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Munch, sometimes.
  • Community-Threatening Construction: The film features a Nevada suburb about to be razed to make way for a new extension of the interstate. It's later revealed to be a front for a government agency trying to find the eponymous alien; they're worried that its ship, which is buried underground, will take off and not only destroy the whole neighborhood, but kill everyone there as well.
  • Cute Machines: Echo
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tuck. Alex also has shades of this.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Munch, for being able to re-route all of the land-line phones in his house to his cell phone in case Tuck's and Alex's parents try to call his parents.
  • Handy Helper: It's mentioned a few times that Echo was blinded and needs to use Alex's phone camera to see. When the phone is too far away, Echo is completely unable to see.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: After the "construction workers" take away Echo and Munch sneaks into the back of one of their trucks, Tuck suggests taking his brother's car in order to catch up with them. At a wild party, they find the brother drunk and passed out in the bathtub and swipe his keys. However, being underage, Alex had to Google how to drive while Tuck took the wheel.
  • Homage: To coming-of-age films of previous decades, such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial or The Goonies.
  • Hysterical Woman: Emma plays this trope to get the construction workers to back off.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The construction workers. While the leader of them is very rude to the children, he's doing this because he believes if Echo manages to leave, the entire neighborhood will be destroyed. However, this is subverted when Echo manages to figure out how to construct the spaceship without destroying the houses, rewarding Alex's trust in Echo.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The kids' first questions to Echo involve asking him whether he's a robot.
  • Once for Yes, Twice for No: How Echo communicates.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Echo
  • Robot Buddy: Echo
  • Ship Tease: Tuck concocts an elaborate ruse at the beginning of the film where he pretends that he got Emma's phone number (he just asked her to give him a piece of paper) and then proceeds to pretend that they kissed. Emma gets some real Ship Tease with Alex towards the end of the film, where she has a slip of the tongue and accidentally refers to Alex as her "boyfriend" before correcting herself that Alex is a "friend who's a boy".
  • Technopath: Echo uses this power to send the first map to Alex's phone, and then use his phone to help him see. He's also able to attract, reshape, and attach the pieces that he needs from each place that his maps lead the kids to. Once he gains a couple pieces, he is strong enough to turn on arcade machines in order to distract a security guard. After gaining the final piece, Echo is able to disassemble a semi-truck that's heading towards the kids and safely reassemble it behind them.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Alex snaps at Emma at one point that instead of coming along with them, Emma should go out with her rich friends and enjoy steak, in a tone of voice that implies Alex believes Emma lives a charmed life. Tuck gives a real one to Alex later, accusing Alex of being mopey for no reason, since Alex is paranoid about being left behind by his friends.
  • Travel Montage: A variation that uses something similar to Google Maps to show the kids' route, especially its distinctive arrows.
  • True Companions: The kids are this to each other, and eventually they become this with Echo, especially Alex.
  • Shout-Out: Munch's 'Goodbye' scene has a couple moments really similar to The Blair Witch Project.
  • The Stinger: After the credits, Alex is woken up by a new map on his phone sent by Echo, and he sends a video to his friends showing them the location.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The villain just kind of disappears once Echo's spaceship is rebuilt.
  • What the Hell, Hero??: After Emma and Echo rescue Alex from the Security Guard at the Arcade, Tuck begins accusing Alex of wanting to get caught on purpose and then Alex gets into a fight with him for abandoning at the Arcade. Tuck in narrating admiting he knew what he did, but acted like he didn't. The two later forgive each other.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: What the movie ultimately turns out to be. The Kids just want to help Echo, Echo just wants to go home. And the Jerkass construction workers are actually working for the Government in an attempt to save everyone in the neighborhood without revealing the existence of aliens.
  • Women Are Wiser: Emma joins late, but manages to get crucial information from Echo the boys didn't think to ask about.