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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.16%
Worth A Look50.88%
Average: 20.18%
Pretty Bad: 12.28%
Total Crap: 3.51%

10 reviews, 54 user ratings

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Stir of Echoes
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by Scott Weinberg

"Kevin Bacon alone makes it worth seeing, plus it's pretty damn spooky!"
4 stars

While picking through the debris of the New Horror Wave, you may chance upon a few smaller movies that a worth a look, like this one. While it's not likely to make anyone's Top Ten list, it offers some effective chills backed up by a strong story (based on Richard Matheson's novel) and some excellent performances.

Just because David Koepp has proved himself to be a solid screenwriter (The Paper, Death Becomes Her, Carlito's Way), that's no reason to expect he can direct a movie. Surprisingly, he brings a strong directorial style here, offering a dark mood and some creepy visuals to his solid (if a bit familiar) script. Although it was unfairly compared to The Sixth Sense upon its theatrical release, the result is an entertaining and tight little ghost story.

Tom Witzky (Bacon) has family pressures. He's constantly having to work extra hours to make ends meet and his dreams of bigger and better things seem pretty unlikely. Although he's a nice enough guy, the pressure seems to be getting to him. His wife Maggie (Erbe) is sweet and understanding, but she also wants more for her husband and son Jake (Cope).

Things go from bad to just plain screwy when Tom agrees to let himself be hypnotized by Lisa (Douglas), Maggie's screwy sister. It seems the hypnosis has triggered some unwelcome and realistically terrifying visions in Tom's head. Are the visions a message from beyond the grave, or is Tom finally about to snap and lose his marbles all over the neighborhood?

The twists in Stir of Echoes come at a brisk clip, and by the time the somewhat predictable conclusion arrives you'll be too caught up to mind the familiarity. Tom's visions cause him to behave erratically at first and then just plain nutty when he begins to doubt his own sanity.

Koepp keeps the audience guessing on most of the plot points, and there are a few clever surprises along the way. (The feathers were a nice touch.) Kevin Bacon is riveting in his role, as he sets up a likable blue-collar character and then makes us wonder if maybe we shouldn't be liking him at all. Kathryn Erbe stands out as Maggie, bringing a few extra layers to a part generally relegated to the background in horror movies. (I recognized Erbe as the woman who played Richard Dreyfuss' daughter in What About Bob? She's grown up!)

Maybe this is just an OK movie. But with all the horror CRAP that we have to wade through, it's nice to see one that takes itself seriously, is professionally made and is basically just a quality movie. Maybe it's not the most original story, but hell, what ghost story IS?

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originally posted: 04/30/00 15:21:21
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User Comments

12/18/17 The Big D. Starts out ok but goes downhill when Tom goes berzerk and starts digging up the basement. 3 stars
2/21/17 morris campbell good ghost story the book is good too 4 stars
2/06/09 Anonymous. has a great eerie atmosphere. 4 stars
5/27/07 fools♫gold I keep telling myself to watch the unedited version before rating, but it's too underrated. 4 stars
2/18/07 Nick Maday I'm not a big fan of Kevin Bacon, but this was a pretty good movie. Worth a rental at least 4 stars
1/08/07 SAM Very poor movie 2 stars
1/16/06 ronald crap,hey asshole how could you say this was better than 6th sense.Are you fucking nuts? 1 stars
8/12/05 ES very good date movie, a well done movie 4 stars
7/23/05 Indrid Cold Sure it's well done, but never particularly scary or thrilling. 3 stars
11/11/04 beauty is nice Bacon was frying with gas in this one, a cool thriller that sizzles... 4 stars
9/22/04 Anarchist_101 Seemed more like a Halloween episode of C.S.I, then a Clive Barker film... 4 stars
5/13/04 tatum Really excellent 5 stars
1/22/04 American Slasher Goddess Watch this, instead of the overrated "Sixth Sense". 4 stars
11/25/03 homer J. Simpson The best part was the fucking rolling stones song 2 stars
11/24/03 Nicole Pretty decent 4 stars
3/27/03 Jen I -LOVED -THIS -MOVIE!! 5 stars
3/17/03 R.W. Welch A bit too predictable, but overall not a bad paranormal mystery. 3 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby A weak finale can't cancel out the superior minutes preceding it. Bacon is sensational. 4 stars
10/17/02 Jim Effectively spooky little film with a great ending and effective use of Poe 4 stars
9/27/02 Eric Scary, suspenseful, and very engrossing mystery with a great performance by Kevin Bacon. 5 stars
8/05/02 KMG COOL AS SHIT 4 stars
7/05/02 honky harry ...creepy..scary..and.ermmm good 5 stars
6/15/02 Cat Pretty good film, suspensful good developement and creepier then Sixth Sense 4 stars
2/07/02 Phil M. Afficianado I agree with Erik and Spork. A real sleeper that deserved better box office 4 stars
4/29/01 Basil that kid was creepy 5 stars
4/24/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) HOLY SHIT, I love this movie!! On par with the Sixth Sense. GROSSLY underrated. 5 stars
3/21/01 mr. char great movie u assholes 5 stars
12/28/00 Turtle On the same level with Sixth Sense. And it might even be a bit better... 5 stars
11/20/00 N Martinez Kick Ass. Kick Ass, Kick Ass, Kick Ass, Kick Ass, Kick Ass 5 stars
9/18/00 Paul FANTASTIC! CREEPY! kicks 6th sense ass! will give you the chills 5 stars
7/11/00 Matthew Bartley Very scary and effective in the right places 4 stars
5/03/00 TIGGER Great! Kevin Bacon was great. So was Kathryn Erbe. 4 stars
5/02/00 bullit17 Pretty cool. Not a classic, but certainly worth admission or rental price. 4 stars
4/16/00 MR joel harwood THE SIXTH SENSE meets FLATLINERS kick ass first hour and a bit, SCARY as HELL, ending=crap 4 stars
4/12/00 fire-n-ice scared the shit out of me!!! 5 stars
4/05/00 Alicia a kick ass movie 6 sense was good but this way better 5 stars
3/15/00 The Bomb 69 really scary stuff, well-paced 4 stars
3/11/00 brentley Good, scary flick. 4 stars
2/28/00 mard all alone, lights are off hands over my eyes, worth a look for bubblegum fright 4 stars
2/21/00 arnold creepy but ending sucked shit 4 stars
2/19/00 tony s actually had me frightened 5 stars
2/11/00 Kyle Broflovski Not as good as The Sixth Sense...but why quibble?! 4 stars
2/06/00 Josh the sixth sense maybe a better movie, but stir of echoes is a hell of a lot scarier!! 5 stars
12/04/99 Mark First half scared the crap out of me ... kinda slowed, but really good overall 4 stars
11/16/99 Lamont98 Scary to the bone 4 stars
9/28/99 Ami the Wonderbread Nothing really impressive. Decent all around. 3 stars
9/17/99 Julia i guess i was on drugs cause i actually dug this flick. 5 stars
9/16/99 Ratso Kevin Bacon needs to do a movie where he dies. Not his character. I mean him, he has to die 1 stars
9/15/99 Allen Saunders Would have been more impressive had I not seen The Sixth Sense recently... 4 stars
9/15/99 F PANUCCI Pretty cool, and it continues directly into SIXTH SENSE, which was a bit of a surprise. 4 stars
9/13/99 mason the ending is sooo lame that you cant even throw it a star 1 stars
9/13/99 Mr Showbiz A nice performance from Bacon as well as refreshing intelligence and humor. 4 stars
9/11/99 Timbo Are you surprised IT'S KEVIN BACON 1 stars
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  10-Sep-1999 (R)
  DVD: 17-Aug-2004



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