A skeptic becomes a conduit for supernatural
visions after he is hypnotized by his sister-in-law.
Stir of Echoes (1999)
Written and Directed by David Koepp
Starring Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Ebe, Illeana Douglas, Zachary
David Cope, Kevin Dunn, Conor O'Farrell, Jennifer Morrison
Based on the novel by Richard Matheson
Kevin Bacon doesn't have the best track record when it comes to horror movies. Then again, I haven't seen Hollow Man and it's been a while since I watched Tremors all the way through, so maybe I'm off. But after watching The Darkness and You Should Have Left, I think I'm right on the money. That's why I had my doubts going into Stir of Echoes, despite my being a big Richard Matheson fan. But I gotta say, this one was intriguing. Hypnosis acting as a way to make the mind more susceptible to supernatural phenomena. Brilliant concept. Plus, there are some genuine scares from time to time.
Bacon plays Tom, a vocal hypnosis skeptic who allows his sister-in-law to hypnotize him for shits and giggles. When it actually works, and Tom finds himself plagued with visions of a ghostly young woman, Tom becomes obsessed with finding out who she is. All the while, his son Jake (Cope) is having visions of his own, and they all point to something in the house. Of course, Tom's wife Maggie (Ebe) doesn't believe him. The end result will shock and appall you, and the journey there isn't too bad, even if it is a blatant ripoff of The Shining at times.
Stir of Echoes is way better than I expected. It's got an intriguing mystery at its core, and it introduces a riveting, unconventional method of introducing ghosts into the mind. The performances are solid, the big reveal is fairly shocking, and the ghost effects are quite creepy. This film is a solid ghost flick.