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Stir Of Echoes  

Tom Witzky (Kevin Bacon)
Maggie Witzky (Kathryn Erbe)
Lisa (Ileana Douglas)
Jake Witzky (Zachary David Cope)
Directed and Written by David Koepp
Rated R for violence, sexuality, language
Running Time: 99 minutes Distributed by Artisan


Stir of Echoes is a creepy and untainted thriller. Tom Witzky (Bacon) is a normal hardworking husband and father living in a normal neighborhood in Chicago. Tom tries to provide as much as he can for his wife Maggie (Erbe) and his little boy Jake (Cope). At a neighborhood party, Tom decides to let Maggie's sister, Lisa (Douglas), hypnotize him. Tom cunningly wants to flip the situation as a joke to embarrass Lisa. However, the hypnosis opens a door in Tom's mind that lets him see horrifying and strange ghostly images and also releases a subconscious power. As Tom tries to figure out what is happening to him, he discovers that Jake has always been able to talk with the supernatural force surrounding his home. Tom begins to understand and solve what the force wants. However, he might lose his mind and his family in doing so.

Stir of Echoes is a slick and thrilling film. The film opens mysteriously and then gets weirder and weirder and ends with a terrific climax.

Stir of Echoes was written and directed by David Koepp. I believe that Stir of Echoes is Koepp's directorial debut. His previous writing credits include Jurassic Park, The Lost World, Mission: Impossible, and Snake Eyes. Koepp adapted Stir of Echoes from Richard Matheson's novel. The script is nicely written and straight to the point with great quick cuts and transitions. The few concepts that hurt the script were the little things. An example is in the first five minutes of the film, we learn that Maggie is pregnant. This sequence ends up having no importance in the film, because the pregnancy isn't ever brought up again. However, the film is directed admirably well. I was predicting that Koepp might use some expensive special effects in this film, since all of his other writings are filled with special effects. He did use a few special effects, but he didn’t over do it. The scenes with the computer effects are very important to the film.

The acting in Stir of Echoes is pretty moderate outside of Kevin Bacon. A film like this doesn't need top of the line acting, just normal driven actors. Kevin Bacon is superb as the psychologically stressed out Tom Wizkey. Bacon doesn't often take leading roles, but he's such a flexible and effective actor no matter if he is the lead or not. Zachary David Cope, who plays Tom's son Jake, is very eerie because of his image, rather than his performance. He isn't like the innocent looking pale faced boy, Cole, in The Sixth Sense. This kid is flat-out freaky as the boy who relates with the supernatural forces in his home.

Stir of Echoes might be received as a film like The Sixth Sense, in which a few concepts of the films are similar, like both little boys see supernatural images. The difference between these two films is that The Sixth Sense is an excellent drawn out drama. Stir of Echoes is a fast thriller whose goal is to keep you at the edge of your seat.

Stir of Echoes is a film that I believe will be received well by adult audiences; I don't predict it to be a huge blockbuster. However, it is a good enough film to start a nice word of mouth to make it a modest hit.

Report Card Grade: B

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