Stir of Echoes [Blu-ray]
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The only real problem with Stir of Echoes has nothing to do with the movie itself, but with unlucky coincidence. Adapted from a Richard Matheson novel, this film arrived around the same time as The Sixth Sense, and surface similarities made it suffer by cursory comparison and the competing film's phenomenal success. It's a pity, because this one features one of Kevin Bacon's best performances, in a psychological thriller that makes a lot more right moves than wrong ones. Bacon plays a blue-collar guy who laments his ordinary life, only to learn, when his sister-in-law (Ileanna Douglas) hypnotizes him, that he is a "receiver" capable of seeing spirits and split-second glimpses of past and future events. It's a torturous gift to have--especially since his friendly Chicago neighborhood possesses a dark secret--and Bacon plays the role with an appropriate mixture of obsession and internalized torment.
Similarity to The Sixth Sense applies only to the basic premise and the character of Bacon's young son. Otherwise, this is more of a hard-edged journey of self-discovery, marital crisis, and recovery, with Bacon's wife (played by the highly underrated Kathryn Erbe) involved in an underdeveloped subplot about a group of people who share Bacon's gift as paranormal "receivers." Furthering his career as a writer-director of intelligent thrillers, David Koepp makes a few missteps in pacing and thematic overkill, but overall Stir of Echoes is a sharp, sensitive thriller that unfolds to reveal a dramatically satisfying solution to its mystery. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Kevin Bacon's character does start to get developed a little in the beginning of the movie as we find out that he wants to be more than an "ordinary guy", but this never goes anywhere. He starts having bizarre visions after being hypnotized by his wife's sister (played by Illeana Douglas, whose role as a dippy academic was funny in "Ghost World" but is just annoying here). The most effective bits of the movie for me were the brief snippets of visions shown through Kevin Bacon's point of view ... whether seeing them in real-time or in DVD freeze-frame, they were both scary and intriguing.
Unfortunately, the movie doesn't take the premise anywhere new or exciting. None of the characters are interesting, there are shots and scenes that seem portentous but lead nowhere ... the movie seemed rather underwritten, as we get only brief sketches of the different characters and stretches of superfluous visual filler. The movie is basically a murder thriller but the suspense is undermined by the predictability. I'm afraid that for me the only memorable part (in a positive way) of "Stir of Echoes" was the pleasant Beth Orton song at the end of the movie.
**** 1/2 out of *****
Kevin Bacon is a Chicago husband trying to provide for his family, a son and wife, with an accent that sounds more Bronx than Chi-town. Okay. But why the guitar and references to his band? It doesnt help the story and it doesn't develop the character.
Anyhow, he gets hypnotized at a party and begins to have visions (yeah...not the Fatima type, but of dead, missing children). And that sets off an addiction (seriously) for Orange Juice. His son communes with the dead as well...why not?
Nice neighborhood. Seems like two jocks killed a retarded girl (why she had to be mentally retarded I'm not sure), and the parents cover up her accidental death by sealing her in a basement wall (Poe anyone?). You guessed it...the basement is in Bacons home and he is obsessed with finding the body.
An attempt to cover it up follows with some gunshots and a stabbing. Twists? Not really. Predictable. YOU BET.
Just okay. This is an okay flick. Good second or third choice when you really want a movie but the good stuff is gone.
Most recent customer reviews
I found this Blu-ray in the Walmart $5.00 bin. 5 year old Jake (Zachary David Cope) has "the shining" as a phrase one might borrow from another film. Read morePublished 16 months ago by The Movie Guy
Kevin Bacon et al are great. i love the simplicity of the script and it's subtle twists n turns
received promptly and undamaged
Love this movie, but it came with a scratch big enough that it will not play. I've never had trouble with Amazon before, so I let it slide. Read morePublished on Oct. 17 2013 by Sascha Lipinski
Moi et les films d'esprit, sauf que lui est un peu dur à digérer, on rentre vraiment dedans..et quand on apprend la fin..bleh! Read morePublished on June 12 2013 by LiLy
One of the most under rated movies to be released!! LIke thrillers? you will love this movie that should have never been released to compete with the sixth sense...... Read morePublished on Nov. 23 2009 by Alison Johnson