Crash Analysis: STIR OF ECHOES (1999)

A lot of echo but not enough stir

A young couple and son can see dead people in their new rental

Stir of Shadows

Kevin Bacon shines as blue collar Tom Witzky. He and his wife (Kathryn Erbe) have just rented a home from a friend in residential Chicago. Right from the start, their son (Zachary David Cope) begins talking to something unseen, and once Lisa Weil, played by the always capable Illeana Douglas, hypnotizes Tom to “open his mind”, he suddenly knows what his kid’s talking about.

And that’s it.

Sure, there’s a mystery and such, but we’ve seen and heard it all before. A

nd the only new ground broke is in the Witzky’s back yard.

Thankfully, the performances were solid and the movie had a great feel thanks to set decorator, Susie Goulder and director of photography Fred Murphy. David Koepp, the movie’s helmsman, also deserves applause for bringing cast and crew together in a well-constructed feature. However, as he did with SECRET WINDOW, Koepp may be adept at capturing look and feel, but he has trouble with story. Responsible for adapting Richard Matheson’s novel, Koepp once again did not capture the scares and themes as well as he should. In fact, theme always seems to be lacking, even in its subtlety. If he had focused more on theme and character instead of plot, this movie may hav

e been one to remember.

2.5 out of stars

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