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67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 42 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: After being hypnotized by his sister-in-law (Douglas) at a party, Chicago telephone lineman Tom Witzkey (Bacon) begins to see haunting visions of a murdered girl's ghost and struggles with his sanity when he realizes that he now has the power to see spirits.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Stir of Echoes is much more down and dirty (than "The Sixth Sense"), and the thrills are more visceral.
  2. Reviewed by: M. V. Moorhead
    80
    The scares early on are potent and get Stir of Echoes off to a chilly horror-movie start.
  3. 75
    "Sixth" achieves a rare hushed poetry where Stir, for all its strengths, is more earthbound and familiar.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Phoebe Flowers
    63
    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.
  7. 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."

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. May 18, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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. Expand
  2. Apr 4, 2012
    9
    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-? Anyway...my 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 well...you 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? Expand

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