Stir of Echoes (1999) / Horror-Thriller
MPAA Rated: R for violence, sexuality and language
Running Time: 99 min.
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Erbe, Illeana Douglas, Liza Weil, Kevin Dunn, Jennifer Morrison
Director: David Koepp
Screenplay: David Koepp (based on the book, "A Stir of Echoes", by Richard Matheson)
Review published January 10, 2000
A blue collar man (Bacon, Wild Things) undergoes hypnosis as a prank, and a suggestion is left that he have an open mind. Shortly thereafter he begins to see frightening visions involving a young girl named Samantha (Morrison, Grind) that has been missing for some time. He must find the key to the mystery before he goes completely insane.
Stir of Echoes is a skillfully directed horror piece that has a few interesting ideas, but suffers from being unpleasant and derivative. Good acting by Kevin Bacon and the goth-tinged direction by writer-director David Koepp (Secret Window, Ghost Town) keeps the flimsy story together. However the "a person has visions from someone dead and must find out what happened to make them stop" has been done so many times that most viewers will know where things are headed long before they get there, and the film becomes uninteresting very early on. The film is watchable for most of the way, but a ridiculous resolution to the visions and a dissatisfying ending sinks the film to the point of being preposterous. Perhaps Stir of Yawns would have been a more fitting title.
©2000 Vince Leo