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Stir of Echoes (1999)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 55,978 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 365 user | 163 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

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 her.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Stir of Echoes (1999)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Stephen Eugene Walker ...
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Samantha Kozac (as Jenny Morrison)
Richard Cotovsky ...
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Chalon Williams ...
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Storyline

Tom's a regular guy, a utilities lineman, married, with a young son, his wife is pregnant; he hangs out with long-time pals in a Chicago neighborhood. At a party, his sister-in-law hypnotizes him, and he goes into a deep trance. Before waking him, she suggests that he keep his mind open. That night he sees flashes of violence and the ghost of a young woman. His young son, too, is "a receiver," but while the boy is calm and coherent in his conversations with spirits, Tom is confused and agitated. Over time, the young woman's story comes to the surface, and Tom begins a hunt for her body that puts him and his usually understanding wife, Maggie, in grave danger. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This time, the door cannot be locked. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 September 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ecos mortales  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£221,500 (UK) (26 May 2000)

Gross:

£818,213 (UK) (16 June 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The hypnosis sequence in which Tom (Kevin Bacon) is hypnotized for the first time follows actual hypnosis techniques used by professional hypnotists. In order to ensure that the audience hasn't been put to sleep (and some susceptible people have been), there's a musical accent at the close of the sequence to wake everyone up. See more »

Goofs

When Tom breaks the window with a stone a Virgin Mary statue is visible behind it. The glass falls to pieces and the statue collapses to the floor. When the camera comes back to the window, Virgin Mary is still standing there, behind the broken window, as nothing has happened. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jake Witzky: [to someone] Okay. Guess who came over to play...
[singing]
Jake Witzky: Superheros. I was Black Power Ranger. He was Batman.
Tom Witzky: Jake, you okay in there buddy?
Jake Witzky: I'm okay.
[to whoever else]
Jake Witzky: Can I ask you a question?
Tom Witzky: Okay, time to hit the sack.
[coming into the bathroom]
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Dad!: Four Little Words (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Stay Awake
Performed by Dishwalla
Written by J.R. Richards, Scott Alexander, Rodney Browning, George Pendergast,
Jim Wood and Mark Waterman
Published by EMI April Music Inc./MCA Music Ltd.
Administered by MCA Music Publishing, a division of Universal Studios, Inc.
Courtesy of A&M Records, Inc. under license from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Bacon 'Cooks' As An Unwilling Medium...
4 December 2008 | by (Arlington, VA.) – See all my reviews

I have always admired and marveled at Kevin Bacon's versatility as an actor. From the likable fish-out-of-water guy who trips the light-fantastic through a piece of fluff like FOOTLOOSE, to putting everything on the line to play a pedophile in the unnerving THE WOODSMAN, there's hardly anything he can't - or won't do - to show his amazing range.

That being said, STIR OF ECHOES still holds what is for me one of his all-time Top Five performances.

He plays Tom Witzky, a regular mug living with his family in a working-class suburb of Chicago. Though he loves his family, hotter-than-hot wife Maggie (Kathryn Erbe) and precocious son Jake (Zachary David Cope), he's also a man becoming bored with his life. He wants to do and be something more than who and what he is.

Obviously, the old adage "be careful what you wish for" went right over Tom's head.

At a party for family and friends, Tom volunteers to be hypnotized by his flaky sister-in-law, Lisa (the always excellent Illeana Douglas), who makes a powerful suggestion to Tom that his mind takes literally. What happens next will change his life and everyone's around him forever.

A 'doorway' has been opened inside Tom's head that allows him to communicate with the dead, and for them to reach out and touch him...whether he wants to or not. When the "nightmares" that he's been having begin to intensify, Tom knows he must find a way to close that doorway for good before he loses his family...and his sanity. The urgency is heightened when he discovers how sensitive he was before the hypnotic suggestion, in the most chilling way possible...it seems that son Jake can see and talk to the dead as well.

In the tradition of THE CHANGELING, LADY IN WHITE and THE SIXTH SENSE, the focus of Tom's visions comes from one apparition in particular, who won't leave him or his family in peace until he can figure out what it wants and why. The situation provides fodder for one intense and terrifying performance, and with help from a strong supporting cast, Bacon comes through like a champ.

When movies like this are adapted from older works by classic authors, I usually proceed with the greatest caution. But Richard Matheson's creepy novel has been skillfully transformed by David Koepp, a man who knows a little bit about balancing thoughtful plotting and dialogue with outright terror, (as in APARTMENT ZERO) and the outstanding job he does here will make you think twice the next time somebody wants to 'put you out' at a party with something more than just shots of Captain Morgan...


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