Rating: Rated "R"
The problem with "Stir of Echoes" is its unfortunate release at the same time that "The Sixth Sense" is still scaring them at the local Multiplex. The two movies share ghosts, the creeps, and each centers around a child star that has visions and talks to the dead.
To be fair, Kevin Bacon is a much better actor than Bruce Willis and here he pulls out all the stops as a Tom, a telephone worker in a part of Philadelphia, sharing his life with wife Maggie, and his young son Jake (well played by Zachary David Cope), and having a busy-body sister-in-law who is a practicing witch and fairly successful hypnotist.
And also to be fair, this is not a copy-cat movie and both films were obviously in production at the same time, but if youíve seen "Sense" it takes away some of the scares in "Echoes."
Tomís sister-in-law hypnotizes him at a party and makes an unfortunate remark about "opening up his mind to new things," as she thinks heís kind of stodgy. Well, it all works better than she could hope and Tom becomes a psychic radio receiver and begins to get strange visions, especially one that centers around an neighborhood girl who vanished a few months before. "Don't be afraid of it, Daddy," says wise little Jake because son Jake also has the gift but heís been born with it.
Written and directed by David Koepp, the movie centers around Tomís horror with having his life literally stolen from him as the ghost begins to take over. Obviously sheís after something and eventually Tom is pulled not only into the ghostís problems but also his neighborís son who attempts suicide and his landlord who is just a bit creepy, too.
Unfortunately as we find out more we become involved with Tomís obsessions and watch as he goes to "Rent-a-Tool" and digs up not only the entire backyard but goes down in the cellar and jackhammerís the floor. The sound is heard all over the neighborhood and soon the real culprits emerge.I?ll tell no more.
If the movie had stayed on the psychic level--and Bacon is a good actor, quite able to have carried it off), this would have been a better film. But it doesnít and it isnít.