Stir of Echoes (1999)

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Tom Witzky (Kevin Bacon) is a hard working husband who seems to be grinding his way through life. He and his wife Maggie Witzky (Kathryn Erbe) are invited to a party where the sceptical Tom his asked if he would like to be hypnotized. Tom believing hypnotism to be a joke, agrees, thinking nothing will happen. However to his surprise he completely goes under. When he awakes from the hypnotism, he tells his sister in law Lisa (Illeana Douglas) that it worked, that she managed to hypnotise him.

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However something has awoken in Tom. He is seeing things that he doesn’t want to see. Having reoccurring dreams, and some very disturbing visions. He asks Lisa to reverse the hypnotism, to turn it off, but it’s too late. Now Tom must use his new ‘gift’ to solve a crime. One that is a little closer to home than he’d like.

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There is a lot going for this film that I really like. To begin with the story is very intriguing. Based on a novel by Richard Matheson, and written and directed by David Koepp, this really is a supernatural mystery you’ll want to get behind. It was released around the same time as The Sixth Sense and Blair Witch, when all of those types of movies were really getting peoples attention. Sadly Stir of Echoes was lost amongst the bigger names, which is sad as it’s definitely the better movie. Kevin Bacon is fantastic as Tom. Playing the everyman role fabulously and really reacting like you’d imagine someone would in such strange circumstances. The supporting cast are also really good, with a lot of faces you’ll recognise.

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I have never been hypnotised myself, so I can’t say if it actually works. But the premise is played out quite plausibly, and doesn’t seem too far fetched.  There are some cracking scares, and the whole thing is quite creepy. I would definitely suggest giving it a watch if you have never seen it before.

4/5

JM

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