Open the Door

Stir of Echoes stirs up a genuinely chilling ghost story. I never heard of the movie before, but someone special suggested I watch it. Turns out there’s a good reason I never heard of it. Stir of Echoes was released in 1999 and was seriously overshadowed by other supernatural horror movies like The Sixth Sense, The Blair Witch Project, or The Mummy. The plot is especially similar to The Sixth Sense, but A Stir of Echoes is actually a 1958 book written by famous author Richard Matheson.

Director David Koepp reworks Stir of Echoes to fit the edgier 90’s a bit better. Kevin Bacon is scary good as neighborhood family man Tom Witzky. When his sister-in-law hypnotizes him at a party, Tom begins to pick up echoes of an unsolved murder. The main similarity with The Sixth Sense is Tom’s 5 year old son Jake cryptically communicating with a ghost. A young Jennifer Morrison haunts Tom with unsettling fragments of how she died.

His wife Maggie is similarly put through a lot of stress dealing with her husband and son’s supernatural madness. Fellow Kevin, Kevin Dunn, is also important to the story as Tom’s trusted best friend. Tom sees events before they happen, obsesses over every detail, and digs a hole for unexplained reasons. The mystery of how the victim died kept me guessing until the disturbing truth was revealed. There is a made-for-TV Syfy sequel, but that’s not really worth watching. Stir of Echoes is an underrated thriller for a year filled with iconic thrillers.

Stir of Echoes

Tom receives a visit from Samantha

6 thoughts on “Open the Door

  1. I had no idea Stir of Echoes was based off of a Richard Matheson novel, that’s pretty cool. Matheson’s a highly underrated writer in my opinion, a master of mixing entertaining stories with intellectual subtext. I do enjoy Kevin Bacon, and not just because he’s a fellow Philadelphian, he’s a talented actor. He’s made some clunkers, but who hasn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. YES! This is definitely an underrated gem that I feel like a lot of people have never seen. I remember renting this on VHS back when I was a sophomore in college. My roommates and I had no idea what it would be about but the box looked interesting/creepy so we gave it a shot. We were blown away by how good it was. I hadn’t seen it in years then I saw it pop up on some streaming platform over the summer. Still as good as I remembered it.

    Liked by 1 person

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