"The Sixth Sense Has Got Nothing on Bacon's Latest"
Stir of Echoes (*** Ĺ) Ė On the short list of truly underrated actors, Kevin Bacon is unquestionably at the top. Itís no secret that his body of work spawned one of the greatest cult games ever (Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon) and each successive movie just adds more juice for it. But I look forward to every new Kevin Bacon movie differently Ė because Iím always fascinated at what heís going to make of his next role Ė and Stir of Echoes is no exception.As Stigmata made me appreciate The Sixth Sense, Stir of Echoes reminded me how much I didnít like it. Both stories have remarkable similarities between the two, but Stir of Echoes, while out to shake up and surprise you, itís not out to insult your intelligence with a lame trick ending. In fact, the central mystery of the film is pretty straightforward as far as guessing it is concerned, but itís the way it drops little clues here and there that makes you think as the pieces finally come together, leading up to a great final gasp at the climax. This film also kept me more on edge than the Bruce Willis movie, including a moment early in the film that gave me the biggest jolt Iíve had in a theater in a long time, one which I actually applauded in the theater. And itís consistently involving, setting up the Chicago neighborhood, then up to the terrific hypnosis sequence and then two great subsequent suspense sequences involving Baconís child and scary visions.The movie is kind of like Close Encounters of the Third Kind meets The Shining meets Lady in White (another great overlooked ghost story) and unfortunately this one is also going to be overlooked in the wake of The Sixth Sense. Donít let it. Donít let this one get away. Just say no to the Sixth Sense. If you donít, youíll be missing one of the most entertaining films of the year, with another great Kevin Bacon performance, a lot of natural humor, some great jolts, and a ton of suspense.