Stir of Echoes (1999) Movie Review

Stir of Echoes (1999)

1999 | R | Horror, Thriller, Mystery
99 minutes /

User Score: 75/100

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Stir of Echoes Review


After being hypnotized by his sister in law, a man begins seeing haunting visions of a girl's ghost and a mystery begins to unfold around him.

Stir of Echoes (1999) is an American supernatural horror-thriller film that is loosely based on Richard Matheson‘s novel, A Stir of Echoes. Director and screenplay writer David Koepp (Mission: Impossible (1996), Jurassic Park (1993), Spider-Man (2002), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)) fulfilled my expectations of this film and gave me a little bit more. The movie contains sexual content, nudity, creep factors, tension, thrills, suspense, violence, and language.

Tom Witzky (Kevin Bacon - Apollo 13 (1995), Footloose (1984), Mystic River (2003), X-Men: First Class (2011)) is a husband and father that works as a phone lineman and lives in Chicago. His wife Maggie (Kathryn Erbe - Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001-2011), D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994), What About Bob? (1991)) is pregnant, and son Jake (Zachary David Cope - The Wedding Singer (1998)) can commune with the dead. Tom is not that much happy with his very ordinary life which is about to change after his sister-in-law hypnotized him resulting in him being able to receive messages from beyond. Maggie’s sister Lisa (Illeana Douglas - Ghost World (2001), Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991)) believes in paranormal activity. Tom soon after starts having visions of a ghostly teenage girl involved in a violent scuffle and becomes determined to find out why she is contacting him regularly. He learns that the girl is 17-year-old Samantha Kozac (Jennifer Morrison - House (2004-2012), Once Upon a Time (2011-2016), Warrior (2011), Star Trek (2009)) who disappeared six months ago from the neighborhood.

Jake’s babysitter, Debbie Kozac (Liza Weil - Gilmore Girls (2000-2007), How to Get Away with Murder (2014-2016), Dragonfly (2002)) overheard Jake talking with Samantha and instantly got upset resulting in her running off with Jake. The movies progress to being a great watch where Tom searched for his son and met up with Debbie, who questioned him and Maggie about her sister Samantha. Debbie informs them that Samantha had a disability where she had the mental capacity of an 8-year-old and easily trusted strangers. Tom more than ever determined now to solve Samantha’s case which he thinks is the most important thing that has ever happened to him but ends up hurting his marriage along the way but brings them closer to each other at the same time.

I was attracted to Stir of Echos because of how real the characters felt who obtained favorable jobs and had financial issues like any other normal average person. One of my favorite scenes was the hypnotizing scene at the beginning of the movie (about four minutes into the film), and the movie was as entertaining as it gets from that point on. Creepy moments lurk at every corner which mostly involves Jake, who is a child. One of the best scary scenes with Jake is when Maggie was asking him about how he knew the babysitter, Debbie, and his voice changed from an innocent child’s voice to a dark demonic like voice. There was no creepy music to jazz up that scene, so it was so realistic with the tone and atmosphere. The effects on the ghost-girl movements were nicely done giving off a scary vibe knowing that her death needs to be avenged.

Stir of Echoes does not shy from comedy as it has a few humorous scenes scattered throughout the film. Kevin Bacon gave one of the best performances, but all of the other actors did not fall far below his performance. Viewers be warned that there are some pretty graphic gut-churning scenes in this movie that made me wince a few times. Stir of Echoes is a fast paced visceral psychological thriller that is highly entertaining. The entire cast did a great job with their creepy scenes.

About Stir of Echoes (1999)

Title: Stir of Echoes
Year: 1999
Runtime: 99 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Mystery
Score: 3.5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 3.75/5 stars from 12 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 12
MPAA Rating: R
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Kevin Dunn, Jennifer Morrison, Illeana Douglas, Reese Foster, David Buck, Maureen Mendoza, Christian Stolte, Mike Bacarella, Larry Nazimek, Mary Kay Cook, Duane Sharp, Larry Neumann Jr., Roger Delgado, Richard Cotovsky, Maggie Kimberley, Steve Rifkin, Mark Finney, Chalon Williams, Liza Weil, George Ivey, Kevin Scott Greer, Lisa Lewis, Lou Meza, Zachary David Cope, Eddie Bo Smith Jr., Kathryn Erbe, Hyowon K. Yoo, James Andelin, Conor O'Farrell
Writers: Richard Matheson, David Koepp
Director: David Koepp

Stir of Echoes Cover Poster Art