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I'm a slave to the Hollywood Visionaries.  God help me.

Stir of Echoes

Directed by David Koepp
Written by David Koepp,
based on the novel by Richard Matheson
Starring Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Erbe,
Illeana Douglas, Zachary David Cope, Liza Weil
My Advice: If you can still catch this on a big screen, do it.
Rating: out of


Kevin Bacon is clearly an actor who is woefully underrated in his art.

In Stir of Echoes, Bacon is Tom, a stoic family man and an oh-so ordinary guy. He's got a newly pregnant wife, (Erbe), a home in a nice neighborhood with amiable neighbors, and a precocious son (Cope) who spends most of his time talking to the dead. Sound familiar?

It took me an extra hour to drive to the theater that was showing this in a dollar matinee. I'm so glad that I did. I was one of the guilty ones so caught up in great-white fury of The Sixth Sense that this film breezed by me unnoticed this summer. Had it not gone head-to-head against some rather lofty fare, this could have been the breakthrough suspense film of the year. So unnerved was I by some of the subtle horror of this movie I actually went to the "restroom" just because the scene was so edgy I felt I was coming unglued. It made me that nervous. That's a good thing.

The gist of the story is this. During a neighborhood block party one evening a group of friends get together and the banter turns to the paranormal. Tom's sister-in-law Lisa (Douglas), with considerable help from his friends, persuades him to submit to a hypnosis session. Lucky for Tom he is part of that 8% for whom hypnosis is highly successful. He drops and he drops deep. So deep in fact he has now opened a slumbering door to the netherworld within his head. He, along with his son, now needs to resolve what this visiting ghost wants from him before his descent into madness tears his family apart.

This film is well paced and well acted. The supporting cast is gripping and lifelike and the story is edgy and nerve-rattling. All of the things a really good suspense film should be. If you haven't had your own echoes stirred in a while, I suggest you start here. You won't be sorry.

 

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