Stir of Echoes (1999) - David Koepp

This is a really cool movie that gets over looked a lot. Sure,

A Sixth Sense

came out before it and it may resemble that a bit too much. But who cares?

Stir of Echoes

has a really cool story that is supported by a solid cast. It has a great song as it's theme and it has some seriously scary scenes. I was more than happy to review it for the

31 Movies of Halloween. 

Tom Witzky and his family have recently moved into this town. A nice small town that really has some great old pride. However, the town is holding back a deep dark secret. Tom and his son Jake are getting these visions of a dead young woman in their home. Tom becomes obsessed with it and starts driving a wedge in between reality and insanity.

Kevin Bacon does a phenomenal job here. His work is some of the best in his career. I really liked the story too. The botched hypnosis thing is a really great device. I like that it opened up Toms mind to seeing these beings from the other side. I just wish we were able to see the other side.

The effects were pretty minimal. They saved on time by replaying some of the grossest stuff. Namely, the tooth being knocked out and the fingernail being broken off. Those are both pretty gruesome. But that seems to be the only appearance of gore. Other effects that I liked had to do with the lighting and set-up. The flashback sequences were cold and damp. I really liked the dying effect that they had used with Samantha. It was neat.

This is a solid horror movie with some really great suspense. If you have a pulse then it should keep you glued to the edge of your seat. It should also have you humming

Paint it Black.

I recommend Stir of Echoes to just about anyone. It was presented as a mainstream psychological thriller like


but more appropriate. Your mother wouldn't be embarrassed to watch this with you.


David Koepp


Judy Hofflund and Gavin Polone


Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Erbe, Zachary David Cope and Illeana Douglas


Artisan Entertainment


United States

Did ya Know: 

In the hypnotism flashback scene, there is a scene of a safety pin being stuck through Tom's hand. This was not a special effect - a stunt man was paid to come in and have a safety pin pushed through his hand for the scene.