Stir of Echoes

1999

Horror / Mystery

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Kevin Bacon as Tom Witzky
Zachary David Cope as Jake Witzky
Kathryn Erbe as Maggie Witzky
Illeana Douglas as Lisa Weil
720p 1080p
699.95 MB
1280*720
English
R
English
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 5 / 15
1.50 GB
1920*1080
English
R
English
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 4 / 13

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jangu 8 / 10

Thrilling and interesting


Actually, I found this movie more satisfying than "Sixth sense". It doesn't have a stunning payoff like "sixth sense" (what film does?), but until the, in some ways hasty, conclusion, it's well made, scary and, since I have a knowledge of occult things through a good friend, rather believable. Kevin Bacon is credible in his part and so do Illeana Douglas. Kathryn Erbe however is stuck with nothing to do for large chunks of the movie. Effectively and atmosphericly shot, with some effective jolts that made me jump. To some, the conclusion may be a little simple and drawn-out, but I thought it was satisfying and filled to the brim with suspense. I find that the digging in the cellar/garden is a nice build-up for the finale, not that it goes on forever as a previous reviewer stated. It's only one thing that bothers me about the ending, and it is that too little is explained and a few threads of the story are totally abandoned. But that's only a minor complaint. For the most part, this is a creepy, interesting, well-made, scary and well played little thriller.

Reviewed by epsilon3 7 / 10

Hypnotic Suspense

Stir of Echoes is a very good horror thriller in the traditional sense. It's the story of a guy who gets hypnotised and develops precognitive psychic abilities which he can't control.

Kevin Bacon is excellent and shows he can be a leading man, while the rest of the cast performs well. Sets, special effects and cinematography are all very good - nothing flashy but solid.

It has shocks and suspense, especially in the first half, and although it could be accused of being a little cliched, it never strays too far into the 'seen it all before' category.

The second half of the film turns into a more traditional thriller but still holds up well, unlike similarly themed movies such as 'What Lies Beneath.' This is because it is pleasingly short, lasting around 90 minutes (the correct length for a film of this type). There are some plot strands that aren't explained, but this can be forgiven because of the film's running time.

Although not mind blowing, it has a decent payoff at the end and left me satisfied that I'd just watched a good movie. Not a great one, but a good one. Pick this one up cheap on DVD.

Reviewed by mentalcritic 8 / 10

Horribly underrated

In 1999, the media was in a frenzy about a new film that used real things to terrify and excite its audience. Stir Of Echoes was not it. Partly due to the studio's financial difficulties, Stir Of Echoes came and went by itself, unsung and unappreciated. Which goes to show that recognition in the Hollywood system does not go to innovators or the best storytellers. It is all about marketability, and while Stir Of Echoes had this, the companies involved in making or distributing it did not seem to want to spend the cash involved in taking advantage. Either that or Artisan and Fox decided to use it as their tax write-off for that year.

I have not read the novel by Richard Matheson, so I cannot comment on how faithfully the film follows its source. But that is irrelevant. When compared to its more big-name competitor, at least Stir Of Echoes has the courtesy to acknowledge its source. The film updates the story to a more modern era, thus saving a few dollars, since period pieces are expensive to make. In fact, the dramatic angle of the film keeps it rather cheap, since effects shots are few and far between. Not to mention the effects that do appear are fairly simple in nature. Indeed, Stir Of Echoes only cost about thirteen million to make, according to estimates. Which makes it all the more peculiar that Fox was unwilling to invest a little more effort in publicising the film.

Kevin Bacon is in fine, fine form as the film's central hero, a regular guy called Tom Witzky. Kathryn Erbe is also in great form as his wife, Maggie. Illeana Douglas is decidedly odd as his sister-in-law, Lisa. But the real surprise here is child performer Zachary David Cope. After the pretender, that pile of sachaarine garbage called The Sixth Sense, child stars had such a bad reputation that Zachary deserves a medal for portraying such a genuinely likable, layered character. Indeed, director David Koepp took one hell of a risk by placing so much of the responsibility for the plot on his shoulders. That it pays off is a testament not only to the strength of Zachary David Cope's performance, but to the strength of the material he was given. Indeed, all the best scenes in Stir Of Echoes involve interaction between Zachary, Kathryn, and Kevin.

I do think this film has its faults. Chief among them is that the story needed another ten minutes to properly develop. Plot threads like the group of psychics, a member of which helps put Kathryn Erbe's character on the path of greater understanding, needed better resolution. One moment, Maggie is asking this policeman why her husband is obsessed with a scene of memories to the exclusion of his job. The next moment, not only are details like the job forgotten, so too is the group and the policeman. Smoothing out intricate plot points such as this would have helped the story no end.

In the end, however, Stir Of Echoes is proof that the artistic work one does not hear about may just be the one that has more merit. If nothing else, it is worth watching to see a small ensemble cast that excels. Even small performances like Liza Weil's demonstrate a sense of dramatic flair that has long fled most of the rest of Hollywood. It is for this reason that I gave Stir Of Echoes an eight out of ten. It is worth watching just to see how badly misdirected the hype machine often is.

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