Stir of Echoes


Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30

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Critic Reviews

  1. Stir of Echoes is much more down and dirty (than "The Sixth Sense"), and the thrills are more visceral.
  2. There's visceral horror, too, including a grisly image -- a horror-in-miniature involving a fingernail -- that located an open nerve in my jaded ability to endure screen violence.
  3. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    It certainly has a place among the year's more accomplished productions.
  4. The scares early on are potent and get Stir of Echoes off to a chilly horror-movie start.
  5. What gives the movie its teeth is the very earthy Witzky family, who behave so much like real people you might think they are.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Koepp does a masterful job of grounding his intimations of the supernatural in a totally persuasive down-to-earth context.
  7. 75
    "Sixth" achieves a rare hushed poetry where Stir, for all its strengths, is more earthbound and familiar.
  8. Reviewed by: Andy Seiler
    The economical, fast-paced style and creepy mood are reminiscent of "The Twilight Zone."
  9. A horror movie with a Hitchcockian veneer of the everyday, a story that taps into our fear not only of the paranormal but also of insanity and the secret evil that may lie beneath ordinary lives.
  10. 75
    Kevin Bacon stars in one of his best performances.
  11. 75
    Studded with potent fright scenes and built on a rock-solid performance by the ever-dependable Kevin Bacon.
  12. The effectively creepy Stir of Echoes, is enough to make your blood chill.
  13. 70
    The conventional ghost-appeasement scenario isn't very suspenseful, which may be part of the reason it's so gripping.
  14. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    The picture has an appropriately grungy sense of place.
  15. A scary, intelligent thriller that remains haunting long after it's over...features what has to be one of the creepiest first half-hours in recent film history.
  16. 70
    The ghost story is not half as satisfying as the lovely indie mood piece tucked inside it about a community tending to itself in the wake of a recent wound.
  17. 68
    Elevates the horror genre with a refreshing intelligence and humor -- too bad it's not half as good at generating scares.
  18. (Bacon's) most believable, heart-wrenching and charismatic lead performance in many years.
  19. 67
    Marvelous not in its evocation of horror but in the way it slowly chips away at the mundanities of day-to-day urban living.
  20. A conventionally violent, do-or-die ending on such an unconventional movie.
  21. Little internal logic and too many signposts. It's easy to see who in the neighborhood knows more than they're letting on, even without X-ray vision or ESP.
  22. Miami Herald
    Reviewed by: Phoebe Flowers
    A scream-out-loud movie, upsetting and deliriously effective. Problem is, Koepp relies almost entirely on the isolated shocking images, ignoring the human element at the center.
  23. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Needs less down-to-earth flavor and more unearthly force.
  24. Another thriller that packs a spooky wallop as it conjures an unseen world within reach.
  25. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    The movie tries too hard. Too bad. This coulda been a contender.
  26. Rolling Stone
    Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Compared with ("The Sixth Sense"), there's no contest. Stir of Echoes has been outrun and outclassed.
  27. Offers tricky fragmentation without mystery or mood; it's a mosaic of fear that grows less and less unsettling as it comes together.
  28. 50
    Some dazzling in-camera special effects, especially the ingenious idea of filming the story's ghost at a slow speed, six frames per second, giving the being a strange, otherworldly way of moving.
  29. Director Koepp relies more heavily on editing tricks than old-fashioned atmosphere.
  30. TNT RoughCut
    Reviewed by: Christopher Brandon
    All that suspense falls dead at its climax, which proves to be a bore. The absence of a surprise ending and the lackluster spooks make this one worth skipping. I'm going back to see "The Sixth Sense."
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 129 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Apr 4, 2012
    A 9 in its genre! The producers were somehow unlucky for, as many people have already observed, this movie was released a few weeks afterA 9 in its genre! The producers were somehow unlucky for, as many people have already observed, this movie was released a few weeks after Sixth Sense, which was unfortunate... because people were still talking about the latter. Quite frankly, I think this film is better than The Sixth Sense. It is definitely more frightening, more intense, and much more enjoyable than the other latter one...and Kevin Bacon is of course much, much better actor than Bruce Willis...Kevin is an A and Willis oh well a... B-? purpose is not criticising Willis, there I am going off track, but I merely wanted to share my views about the movie. In a few words: It is a classic! Eerie atmosphere, smart plot, good performances, gripping, believable...and may have a situation like that just next door! ;) If you haven't watch it before, you should definitely do it. Think about this: This movie has no negative reviews, isn't that a great sign? Full Review »
  2. May 18, 2015
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Stir of Echoes is an intense atmospheric thriller with Kevin Bacon's best performance. He plays Tom Witzky, a regular guy with a wife and one underage son. He works as a lineman in Chicago, he is a day to day toiler earning his wages and supporting his family. One night at a social with his wife, her sister and his closest friend the unthinkable happens. He goes from being an ordinary man to having extraordinary visions he can't explain or comprehend. His wife's sister Lisa discusses hypnosis at the social. She describes how a person under hypnosis can't feel anything or realize what is going on because they're in another state of mind. Apparently she knows how to hypnotize someone, so Tom's best friend suggests to her that she hypnotize someone there. Tom suggests himself to her and she denies his request at first. He convinces her and then the audience sees what Tom sees as she guides him through the trance. He sees something during the trance but he doesn't know what it is. She opens a portal in his mind, and then his mind starts receiving supernatural visions. A girl is missing and she wants him to assist her in finding her body. Then she can be freed from being a ghost and rest in peace. She wants him to expose and punish the ones culpable for her demise. A man who is into some kind of witchcraft or supernatural activities tells his wife that she'll never leave him alone until he helps her with her predicament. The movie is ultra spooky and unpredictable. The mystery is tough to unravel and I'm sure most people didn't put the pieces together until the movie clarified what happened to the girl and who the culprits are. Stir of Echoes is one of my favourite horror thrillers by far. It was very underrated in 1999 and it deserved and deserves the kind of attention that The Sixth Sense garnered that year from audiences. It is a one of a kind movie that is a magnificent cinematic experience. The other movie that deals with hypnosis is Danny Boyle's Trance. However Trance isn't dark like Stir of Echoes is because it is an action thriller and not a horror thriller, Trance is great as well. These movies have similarities by sharing hypnosis plots but that is all they have in common. Full Review »
  3. Jun 23, 2016
    In recent years, supernatural horror has become about gore and jump scares, these movies aren't scary anymore! Paranormal Activity, TheIn recent years, supernatural horror has become about gore and jump scares, these movies aren't scary anymore! Paranormal Activity, The Grudge, The Ring, are you kidding me?! Those movies were terrible! They don't make movies like Stir of Echoes anymore, this is a supernatural thriller, that was truly unsettling and creepy, the kind of film that defines what supernatural horror should be. Tom & Maggie are celebrating moving into a new house, and as the party is winding down, Maggie's sister claims to know something about the supernatural. Tom (Kevin Bacon) is a complete skeptic, so she offers to hypnotize him and see what happens. Reluctantly Tom agrees and after seeing some strange flashes, Tom wakes up unsettled but still a non-believer. Over the next few weeks, Tom continues to see strange images of a girl asking for his help and believes his sister in-law messed with his mind somehow. Once convinced that she had nothing to do with it, Tom decides to investigate and try to find out, who this girl is and why she's asking for help. This movie is truly scary because depending on what you believe in, this could be 100% real. Kevin Bacon is one of those actors who when he is in the right role is better than anyone, and this role is perfect for him. Bacon had me on the edge of my seat and it seemed as thou this movie just flew by. I wanted to know who this girl was and what happened to her just as much as he did. As for the paranormal stuff, it wasn't bloody, gory, and out of nowhere but it was just as creepy. This is the kind of film that left you jittery and uneasy for hours afterwards, the definitive horror movie. Bad reviews had me skeptical, but I am a skeptic no longer, Stir of Echoes will most definitely be included in my next Halloween movie marathon! Full Review »