Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming (Ernie Barbarash, 2007)
I let this sit on my DVR for weeks, fearing to watch it. Well, I finally did, and it turns out I was right to do so. The original Stir of Echoes was one of my favorite movies of 1999, though it never got the recognition it deserved (it was eclipsed by The Sixth Sense in much the same way Near Dark was eclipsed by The Lost Boys fifteen years before), and I was pretty sure any sequel, especially one that went straight to the morass of the Sci-Fi Channel Original Movie, was bound to tear out anything that made the original good and keep the lurid aspects without anchoring them to anything worthwhile. Seems I didn't need to watch the movie, as I pretty much had it dead-on already. But I sat down and watched it, more fool me.
Plot: Ted Cogan (Rob Lowe), an Iraqi War vet, suffers a traumatic injury after his position is hit by an RPG shell. When he returns home, the fallout from that incident gets him branded a murderer. Worse, he finds he can see ghosts. Sound familiar? One in particular needs him to right an injustice. Sound even more familiar? Yeah, it's less Stir of Echoes than it is Sixth Sense, but without any of the excellent acting, original touches, or attention to detail that characterized both of those 1999 movies. Worse yet, Barbarash (Cube Zero), who also wrote the screenplay, turns this into bland, pallid message crap that recognizes no grey areas in its subject matter whatsoever, one of the real defining characteristics of the original.
Just plain awful. *