Stir Of Echoes


Directed by: David Koepp
Written by:David Koepp
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Erbe, Illeana Douglas, Liza Weil, Kevin Dunn
Released: April 27, 2000
Grade: B-

If only The Sixth Sense hadn’t have beaten it to the punchline then perhaps Stir Of Echoes would have received more acclaim and box-office dollars.  Bluntly, it is the story of a regular guy named Tom (Bacon) who’s married with a 7-year-old son.  Whilst at a small party, he tells the gathering how hypnosis is garbage and that people are putting it all on.

His wife’s sister-in-law, Lisa (Douglas), was an ex-hypnotic and challenges Tom to see if he can withstand her treatment.  He is entranced by her power but upon awakening, brings something back with him.  He can’t sleep, he always thirsty, and along with his 7-year-old son, he starts seeing ghosts and it’s up to him to solve the riddle of how to make them disappear.

Stir Of Echoes has its moments.  Suspense factor is high and Kevin Bacon does a good job in his creepy role.  What makes the film so frustrating to watch is the reactions from many of the characters and particularly his wife.  I don’t understand why her wife wouldn’t be concerned that her husband is clearly troubled.  It looks like she could hardly care.

There are sub-characters that don’t work and the son (played by Zachary David Cope) provides some curiosity that is left unfulfilled.  The film’s ending itself is evidence of the above criticisms.

The Sixth Sense did it a hell of a lot better and if you haven’t already seen it, save yourself the trouble with this film and check it out instead.