Tom Witzky (Kevin Bacon) is a blue-collar worker, a family man, the most ordinary guy in the world...who is about to be plunged into a shattering encounter with another world. And it doesn't matter that Tom doesn't believe... more » in the supernatural. Because somethingsupernatural has started to believe in Tom. After he is hypnotized at a neighborhood party, Tom changes. He sees things he can't explain and hears voices he can't ignore. As the horrific visions intensfy, Tom realizes they are pieces of a puzzle, echoes of a crime calling out to be solved. But when his other-worldly nightmares begin coming true, Tom wants out. He desperately tries to ridhimself of his eerie, unwanted powers - only to be seized by an irresistible compulsion to dig deeper and deeper into the mystery that is consuming his life. When at last he unearths the truth, it will draw him into the long-buried secret of a ghastly crime, a vengeful spirit...and the lethal price of laying that spirit to rest.« less
Stir of Echoes is a smart, well-made horror thriller with good acting and slick direction. After being hypnotized by his sister-in-law at a party, a family man begins seeing a ghost in his home. As he dedicates himself to understanding what it wants, he discovers his young son can communicate with the ghost and may even hold the key to unearthing a neighborhood secret. Despite being released the same summer as The Sixth Sense and having a similar theme, understand that this film is no copycat. Adapted from the book by Richard Matheson, Stir of Echoes is a solid supernatural picture that not only holds its own but actually continues to dazzle after several viewings, unlike its nemesis which loses much of its impact once you know its secret.
Perhaps most intriguing is that these characters are regular people with normal lives and realistic motives, a trifecta that's been all but discounted by a Hollywood elite that prefers to believe audiences can (or should) better relate to the beautiful, rich, and exceptional. Furthermore, Stir of Echoes showcases the talents of the gravely underrated Kevin Bacon. While most would agree that Depp and DiCaprio belong to a prestigious handful of actors capable of embodying any part, one need only see Bacon in one of his more obscure films - The Woodsman, for instance - to know he deserves the same accolades.
Stir of Echoes is not a perfect film, but it is a strong, well-constructed entry into the paranormal horror genre that packs enough chills, charm, and well-placed humor to win over the casual film-goer as well as the true film buff.
Ruth Ann B. Reviewed on 10/18/2013...
Six Degrees of Stir of Echoes
Michael Lloyd | Midland, Texas USA 300 miles W. of Dallas | 01/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was truly a surprise, and a victim of bad timing. It was eerie, suspensful, funny, and somewhat similar to and released around the same time as the Sixth Sense. The mammoth success of Sixth Sense truly wounded this film's potential.Kevin Bacon does a great job as playing a madman driving by those subliminal movie messages like "Dig". He opens up a pathway into the paranormal world after being placed into a hypnotic spell by Ileana Douglas(Fox's Action). From there he finds that he not the only one in his family with the "Shinning", yes the Shinning. Do you want to get sued lad! Sorry, Simpson's reference after he sees his son talking to "imaginary" dead friends as we all tended to do from time to time. While the movie was overshadowed by Sixth Sense it had more action, and moved at a faster pace. The only thing that Sixth sense had over the films was it's incredible ending. The movie would have you jumping one minute and laughing the next, but not in the predictable way most horror movies do. It was truly well done, and had a great sex scene where the wife wakes the husband(Bacon) for some loving. It's true in movies dreams can come true. Go see it or buy it either way you shouldn''t be disappointed unless you one of the people that likes to ruin a movie by saying that's a rip-off from Sixth Sense or that doesn't happen in the Sixth Sense. Also, look for the microwave burrito on the nightstand. I'm still not sure of the symbolism, but I'm sure it's something genious. Take care, go get it!"
Forget Comparisons, This Movie Is GREAT
A. Fultz | Santa Barbara, CA, USA | 04/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It seems this movie will forever be compared with "Sixth Sense". The unfortunate timing that had Sense opening first seemed to push this movie off to the side. That is a terrible shame, because this movie is as good as any around. Comparing Echoes to Sense is like comparing DaVinci to Michealangelo. Both are great in their own distinct ways. The story of an ordinary working class guy (Kevin Bacon) living in his version of a safe, ideal neighborhood whose world is throw out of whack when he is hypnotized by his ditzy sister-in-law (the always good Illeana Douglas). When he starts to experience strange things, it turns his and his family's world upside down. It would be a shame to say more and possibly spoil the suspenseful plot, but the twists and turns this tale takes are wonderful. This movie will keep you on the edge of your seat and give you a good half-dozen or so jump out of your skin scares. Well acted (Bacon and Douglas are the "big" names, but Kathryn Erbe, Kevin Dunn, AJ Oto lead a great supporting cast, and Zachary David Cope does an amazing job as Bacon's son) and written, this movie should have been a much bigger hit. The second life it has received on video/DVD is well-deserved.If you missed this one when it was first out, grab a copy. It is a GREAT film, and worth adding to your DVD collection."
Please check your pants after viewing this movie!
Steve Whitlock | Virginia | 03/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WOW! This has to be the most underrated movie of 1999. This movie is guaranteed to freak you out. The visual effects, although low tech, are extremely well done and provide a very eerie look into the world of the paranormal. The plot is also done very well. Elements that are introduced throughout the film are tided together quite nicely in the end. The acting is superb, with Kevin Bacon giving the best performance of his career. He really makes you believe in his character, which is one of the elements that makes this movie work so well. I have the DVD edition, listening to this in 5.1 format is a must. The ghostlike voices that come from the rear speakers gives new meaning to the DVD experience, especially in a dark room."
Open Your Mind ... Now
Laura De Giorgio | Canada | 12/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a hypnotist, the main attraction for me in this movie were bits dealing with hypnosis and Kevin Bacon did a great acting job.
All the fun begins after Kevin Bacon, unhappy with his life, becomes hypnotized, just as an experiment and is given a suggestion to open his mind. He begins having visions which won't leave him alone, until he chooses to do something about them. He doesn't like this new gift and would be happy to get rid of it, but there is no way out than to go ahead and get to the bottom of it and follow what he's instructed to do. With each new step, he unveiles the crime that was done many years ago. The movie is a suspenseful horror movie, but it does have some humorous elements."
SLEEP! DIG! GREAT HORROR MOVIE!
Joe | Gulf Shores, Al | 02/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Stir of Echoes" was a major surprise. Big time. I wanted to see it since I first saw the trailer in July but I never got around to it. I waited for video (Which most of you have probably done also) and was thoroughly impressed. So impressed in fact, that I went out and bought it the next night. It's sort of a mish-mash of "Poltergeist", "The Shining", "Rosemary's Baby", "The Sixth Sense" and whatever else ghost movies are out there for that matter. Kevin Bacon gives the performance of a lifetime and the movie has dazzling surprises that truly surprise. On the DVD, I LOVED that creepy cool menu beginning. All those flash cuts and stuff FREAKED ME OUT! If you LOVE good horror flicks, this one is for you! It's pretty scary."