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. In this one he has "the eye." At a party his skeptical dad, Tom (Kevin Bacon) is hypnotized by his sister-in-law (Illeana Douglas) and acquires the gift. Together they see and and talk to a ghost that mom (Kathryn Erbe) doesn't see.
The film builds character and the plot nicely. By the subway scene, I couldn't help about thinking about how much this movie reminded me of something Steven King might do. Bacon starts out as a rather non-convincing blue collar worker, but later when the weird starts, he fits the role perfectly. A good supernatural thriller mystery, one that drops clues. A little on the cliche side, but I didn't mind as it was done well.
Parental guide: F-bomb, brief sex and nudity (Kathryn Erbe)
In Stir of Echoes, a blue collar guy named Tom (Kevin Bacon) finds himself envisioning snatches of images he can't understand after being hypnotized at a party by his sister-in-law (Illeana Douglas, Picture Perfect). At first he shrugs it off as a side-effect of the hypnosis, but when he sees a dead girl sitting beside him on the couch he becomes unglued. Soon his life is turned upside down by this new ability, and he becomes obsessed with trying to discover its meaning. The story is a murder mystery, combined with the paranormal world of psychic experiences. While the murder mystery part isn't too difficult to figure out, the joy comes from following Tom on his quest and sliding deeper into the weirdness that has taken over his life. Jake (Zachary David Cope), the son, is likewise gifted, and gives a strange chorus to his father's madness. There may be some who are put off by seeing a film with Bacon in it, especially a horror movie. I -- for one -- had images of Flatliners running through my mind. (Definitely not his best work.) But all my fears were unjustified. Bacon does a great job, not only at making us believe his character, but in making his character believe in what is happening to him. The reactions by Maggie (Tom's wife, played by Kathryn Erbe) are right on the money. She is torn between her desire to help her husband and her inability to accept what is happening. When he tells her that this is the most important thing to happen in his "stupid life," she immediately takes offense at how he perceives their way of life. Her responses, and how she plays off Bacon, help to make both characters real. Stir of Echoes gives that weird feeling that a good "Twilight Zone" episode would leave me with. I don't think it will ever be as popular as The Sixth Sense. Still, if you're in a mood for something weird, it's worth checking out. Something to watch for: there was a nice bit of homage to Matheson's work, but if you blink you'll miss it. The babysitter, Debbie, is reading a copy of the well-known sci-fi classic, The Shrinking Man. I caught it because I recently picked up a used copy of the novel and it had the same cover.
This was a really good scary movie. I Liked how it was very simple, without an huge buget, and yet they still pulled of a great story. There really never was a dull moment. The creepyness just starts right from the get go, and keeps you intrested up untill the end. If you need a break from all those slasher movies which worry more about the overly elaborate chase secnes, and would perfer a movie thats mysterious, creepy, and keeps you on the edge of your seat biting your fingernails, then Stir of Echoes is the movie for you.
I must admit that I have never heard of Stir of Echoes until I bought it in the year of 2002. I liked the front cover of the movie. When I saw it, I thought it was unbelievably great. I liked Kevin Bacon's performance in this film. He certainly gave a great serious work on his part to really make this movie connect with the audience. I liked the story even though I didn't like the idea of a child actor being in it because they are not very good and natural enough. I will let this slide because the story really dominated the movie. I was puzzled about few characters, how they acted in the middle of the film, but I know now because the ending revealed it all. I saw The Mothman Prophecies before I saw this one. After seeing The Mothman Prophecies, the movie raised the standards higher than it was originally with M. Night Shyamalan films and the others. I feel this movie Stir of Echoes comes close to meet the new standards I have a high praise for the dynamic story created. Just for the record, Artisan, as I predict, will be the upcoming top producer of great movies in the future because what I have seen so far are extremely remarkable: Stir of Echoes, Pi, Belly, The Limey, The Ninth Gate, Dune, and many more. In addition, I researched on this film and did not know that it was released the same time as Sixth Sense. Now, that explains why this movie was in the closet. Suppose if this film was released only, I can safely say that this film will fare greater than it was in the first place.
I was looking forward to seeing this DVD after remembering some exciting-looking trailers, but the movie disappointed me. Even taking into account the obvious similarities to "The Sixth Sense" (which I thought was much more well done) and an influence of both movies, "The Shining", I never got the impression that I was watching anything original. "Stir of Echoes" is a rote supernatural-themed thriller that probably worked better in the original book than it does on the big screen. 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.
Kevin Bacon is Tom Witzky, a normal man who's just moved into a new Chicago neighborhood with his wife (Kathryn Erbe) and young son. Going to a party one night, he's hypnotized by his sister-in-law just for kicks, but once he's out of his trance, he receives dark visions and strange messages that lead to a mystery that occurred in the very neighborhood he now lives in. Underrated financial failure(somehow, the awful Stigmata managed to gross much more money on the same opening weekend) from writer/director David Koepp is an engrossing thriller and one of the most effective horror films of the 90's, it's intelligent, superbly acted (Kevin Bacon delivers possibly the best performance of his career), and most importanty, suspenseful and frightening. Stumbles a little in the finale once the revelation is revealed, but for almost its entirety, this is a highly, highly entertaining and compelling film that casts an effective and enjoyably dark web. See it, see it NOW. **** 1/2 out of *****