Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
Watch On
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Needs less down-to-earth flavor and more unearthly force.
  4. A conventionally violent, do-or-die ending on such an unconventional movie.
  5. 70
    The conventional ghost-appeasement scenario isn't very suspenseful, which may be part of the reason it's so gripping.
  6. 75
    Kevin Bacon stars in one of his best performances.
  7. 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.
  8. Director Koepp relies more heavily on editing tricks than old-fashioned atmosphere.
  9. Reviewed by: M. V. Moorhead
    The scares early on are potent and get Stir of Echoes off to a chilly horror-movie start.
  10. Offers tricky fragmentation without mystery or mood; it's a mosaic of fear that grows less and less unsettling as it comes together.
  11. Reviewed by: Tom Keogh
    It certainly has a place among the year's more accomplished productions.
  12. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    The picture has an appropriately grungy sense of place.
  13. 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.
  14. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    What gives the movie its teeth is the very earthy Witzky family, who behave so much like real people you might think they are.
  15. 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.
  16. 68
    Elevates the horror genre with a refreshing intelligence and humor -- too bad it's not half as good at generating scares.
  17. 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.
  18. Reviewed by: Rod Dreher
    Studded with potent fright scenes and built on a rock-solid performance by the ever-dependable Kevin Bacon.
  19. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    The movie tries too hard. Too bad. This coulda been a contender.
  20. The effectively creepy Stir of Echoes, is enough to make your blood chill.
  21. 75
    "Sixth" achieves a rare hushed poetry where Stir, for all its strengths, is more earthbound and familiar.
  22. 60
    Compared with ("The Sixth Sense"), there's no contest. Stir of Echoes has been outrun and outclassed.
  23. Stir of Echoes is much more down and dirty (than "The Sixth Sense"), and the thrills are more visceral.
  24. (Bacon's) most believable, heart-wrenching and charismatic lead performance in many years.
  25. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    Another thriller that packs a spooky wallop as it conjures an unseen world within reach.
  26. 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."
  27. 70
    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.
  28. Reviewed by: Andy Seiler
    The economical, fast-paced style and creepy mood are reminiscent of "The Twilight Zone."
  29. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Koepp does a masterful job of grounding his intimations of the supernatural in a totally persuasive down-to-earth context.
  30. 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.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  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 »