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"Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

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"Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

Old 09-23-15, 12:05 AM
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"Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28





Stir of Echoes (1999)



Selected by ororama



IMDB ENTRY

ALYXSTARR LINK

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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
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2015 DISCUSSION | 2015 LISTS


Last edited by Chad; 10-01-15 at 08:54 PM.
Old 10-28-15, 06:58 AM
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Re: "Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

Pretty cheap on Amazon Video if anyone wants to own it digitally.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...amazonvideo-20
Old 10-28-15, 02:12 PM
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Re: "Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

I enjoyed it. I especially liked the mini-twist at the end, even if there's a fairly major problem with it happening: WHY, having forseen the future where the father threatens to kill you, do you go and tell the father what you've found..?!

The boy was very good, the aunt was horrible and Mr Bacon really looks the part of someone losing his mind...
Old 10-28-15, 05:32 PM
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Re: "Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

I really liked the psychological focus of this movie; even with haunted house movies it seems less common that the hauntings are so personal and hallucinatory (like him spitting out a tooth). The imagery and obsessive nature of Kevin Bacon's character give Stir of Echoes more re-watchability.

Kids talking to ghosts is so cliche; kind of like The Shining...

Some of the film is too coincidental - they just happen to call the girls sister to baby sit, Bacon was both hypnotized to "be open" AND lives in a haunted house, etc.

Last edited by Undeadcow; 10-28-15 at 09:58 PM.
Old 10-28-15, 08:11 PM
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Re: "Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

Originally Posted by Undeadcow
.

Some of the film is too coincidental - they just happen to call the girls sister to baby sit, Bacon was both hypnotized to "be open" AND lives in a haunted house, etc.
They only called thebsister because of the son's input - the coincidence was that the son was 'receptive'/talking to the dead before the father was hypnotised...
Old 10-29-15, 01:30 AM
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Re: "Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

Originally Posted by Undeadcow
I really liked the psychological focus of this movie; even with haunted house movies it seems less common that the hauntings are so personal and hallucinatory (like him spitting out a tooth). The imagery and obsessive nature of Kevin Bacon's character give Stir of Echoes more re-watchability.

Kids talking to ghosts is so cliche; kind of like The Shining...

Some of the film is too coincidental - they just happen to call the girls sister to baby sit, Bacon was both hypnotized to "be open" AND lives in a haunted house, etc.
Originally Posted by ntnon
They only called thebsister because of the son's input - the coincidence was that the son was 'receptive'/talking to the dead before the father was hypnotised...
It may be a cliche, but if you believe in this sort of stuff, there's lots of "evidence" that children are much more in tune with their psychic powers than adults are. I knew a couple who had a son who, when he was four or five years old, would occasionally talk about his experiences as a soldier in Vietnam. There was nothing hokey about it--his voice didn't change, he didn't have breakdowns, he didn't scream or shout (except when he was asleep and would shout in his nightmares)...he would just calmly talk about places he'd been in Vietnam and skirmishes that he'd been in. His parents could never get any names from him of people that he "served" with during the war, and, as far as I know, he never said who he had been...but he did name some actual locations in Vietnam and use the lingo that Vietnam soldiers used.

You might think that he'd been subjected to repeated viewings of Platoon or Full Metal Jacket or any number of Vietnam war movies when he was a child, all of which might prompt this kind of odd recall, but that doesn't seem to have been the case. His parents were a little on the hippy side of the spectrum, and they didn't own a television. I actually taught the kid when he was in ninth grade, and I asked him if he remembered anything about it, but he didn't anymore. Reincarnation? Who knows?

As for Stir of Echoes, it gets better and better every time that I see it. It practically requires multiple viewings to catch everything that director David Koepp has layered into it. I thought all of the actors were excellent (except for the two teen-aged boys), and I really loved the levity that Illeana Douglas brought to her role--she wasn't a one-dimensional new-age flake. It has some great startles (I'm loving Mr. Cellophane's use of that term), and the central mystery at its core is satisfying. I like the music as well (and did I hear echoes of its soundtrack in the score for It Follows?).

This was a fantastic subset choice.
Old 10-29-15, 01:42 AM
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Re: "Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

I liked the movie, but for me there was one unintentional funny part. When he dragged the compressor up the steps and got out the jackhammer. In my mind - Uh oh here comes a crazy man with a jack hammer. Also don't you know your suppose to let it build up air first.
Old 10-29-15, 07:48 AM
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Re: "Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

Originally Posted by rbrown498
It may be a cliche, but if you believe in this sort of stuff, there's lots of "evidence" that children are much more in tune with their psychic powers than adults are. I knew a couple who had a son who, when he was four or five years old, would occasionally talk about his experiences as a soldier in Vietnam. There was nothing hokey about it--his voice didn't change, he didn't have breakdowns, he didn't scream or shout (except when he was asleep and would shout in his nightmares)...he would just calmly talk about places he'd been in Vietnam and skirmishes that he'd been in. His parents could never get any names from him of people that he "served" with during the war, and, as far as I know, he never said who he had been...but he did name some actual locations in Vietnam and use the lingo that Vietnam soldiers used.

You might think that he'd been subjected to repeated viewings of Platoon or Full Metal Jacket or any number of Vietnam war movies when he was a child, all of which might prompt this kind of odd recall, but that doesn't seem to have been the case. His parents were a little on the hippy side of the spectrum, and they didn't own a television. I actually taught the kid when he was in ninth grade, and I asked him if he remembered anything about it, but he didn't anymore. Reincarnation? Who knows?

As for Stir of Echoes, it gets better and better every time that I see it. It practically requires multiple viewings to catch everything that director David Koepp has layered into it. I thought all of the actors were excellent (except for the two teen-aged boys), and I really loved the levity that Illeana Douglas brought to her role--she wasn't a one-dimensional new-age flake. It has some great startles (I'm loving Mr. Cellophane's use of that term), and the central mystery at its core is satisfying. I like the music as well (and did I hear echoes of its soundtrack in the score for It Follows?).

This was a fantastic subset choice.
I agree with all of this relating to the film, fantastic choice.

But wondering the real reasons for the kids behavior; as there is no such thing as the supernatural. The mind is a complex thing.
Old 10-29-15, 02:43 PM
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Re: "Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

I agree with the comments already made and hate to repeat but I do want to mention the acting. I thought it was outstanding and really helped make the movie more logical and believable. This is a repeat viewing for me and I agree that it stands up well for multiple viewings. A great selection to suggest.
Old 10-30-15, 08:50 AM
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Re: "Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

The one thing that bothered me a bit that, in retrospect, makes much more sense than most: why did she day "dig" when she meant 'knock the wall in'?

A: Because she was dead when they buried her, and had no idea where she was. Which makes much more sense than ghosts being all knowing - the dying-tunnel effect was very smart and worked well to point that out.
Old 10-31-15, 11:28 AM
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Re: "Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

I thought I had seen this movie before but once I started it, realized that I hadn't. Really enjoyed this one and thought it was excellent. Kevin Bacon and the wife were both excellent in this and the kid was creepy without being annoying. A very effective and subdued performance from the child.

So what was the gunshot by the first friend after Bacon left him in the basement? Chickened out on suicide?

Very enjoyable film! I couldn't really find any faults in it and have no idea why I haven't seen it before.

Anyone see the sequel?


...just checked my Netflix account and it shows I watched this back in 2004. I have absolutely no memory of it. Weird. Maybe the movie hypnotized me.

I actually read that there is an audio cue to keep the audience from being truly hypnotized during the first hypnosis session at the very end of the scene.

Last edited by Spiderbite; 10-31-15 at 11:36 AM.
Old 10-31-15, 01:00 PM
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Re: "Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

Originally Posted by rbrown498
It may be a cliche, but if you believe in this sort of stuff, there's lots of "evidence" that children are much more in tune with their psychic powers than adults are. I knew a couple who had a son who, when he was four or five years old, would occasionally talk about his experiences as a soldier in Vietnam. There was nothing hokey about it--his voice didn't change, he didn't have breakdowns, he didn't scream or shout (except when he was asleep and would shout in his nightmares)...he would just calmly talk about places he'd been in Vietnam and skirmishes that he'd been in. His parents could never get any names from him of people that he "served" with during the war, and, as far as I know, he never said who he had been...but he did name some actual locations in Vietnam and use the lingo that Vietnam soldiers used.
I had a nephew like that. Only he was an auto mechanic & could describe in the most mind boggling detail car parts, how to do mechanical repairs in the pre-computer era, details from a shop he owned, etc. Despite his absolute lack of exposure to anything of the sort. Then it all faded after about 5-6 years old & he became a normal kid.

That was so strange that I did some reading on it & it's fairly common. And in every single case it never lasts past early childhood.

The supernatural may not exist. But there is a lot we don't know.
Old 10-31-15, 11:16 PM
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Re: "Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

Originally Posted by Spiderbite
So what was the gunshot by the first friend after Bacon left him in the basement? Chickened out on suicide?
Deliberate red herring?!
Old 11-02-15, 02:43 AM
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Re: "Stir of Echoes" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 28

My wife and I saw this in the theater in 1999, and apparently it made a positive impression, because she watched it again with me (I think it was the only movie of the challenge that she watched in its entirety, although she watched a lot of Onibaba. She's a much more casual movie watcher than I am, and is not a horror fan). I've watched bits of it on TV since my first viewing, but this was my second complete viewing.

The acting and writing were first rate. You learn who the characters are very quickly, without the plot stopping for exposition. The portrait of working class life is as central to the movie as the horror elements: Tom, who is beginning to fear that time is running out for his dreams; practical Maggie, who is trying to make the most of their lives; Frank, who feels that his best years are behind him but has hopes for his son; go-getter Harry; and sister Lisa who feels superior due to her college education and non-traditional lifestyle.

Like many ghost stories, there is a more of a sense of sadness than horror through much of the movie. The horror resides in the violent world of the living.

Stir of Echoes held up on second viewing for me, and seems like a movie that may reward additional watches.

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