Stir of Echoes (1999), directed by David Koepp

StirofEchoesPoster♦♦♦½

Not bad horror thriller based on Richard Matheson’s A Stir of Echoes, though little more than the premise of the novel remains.  Tom Witzky (Kevin Bacon) challenges his sister-in-law (Illeana Douglas) to hypnotize him at a party, but her “harmless” post-hypnotic suggestion that he should open his mind soon has him seeing ghosts; specifically, the ghost of a girl (Jennifer Morrison) who mysteriously disappeared six months earlier.  And she wants him to solve the mystery.  Kudos to David Koepp for delivering a more tightly plotted story than did Matheson.  Released the same year as The Sixth Sense, this film also features a little boy who sees dead people, but here, though the kid’s ability is crucial to the plot, it comes off as an afterthought.  Creepy and fun, but lacking the sort of character development that could have put it over the top.  (Critics praised the ghost effects, without noting their similarity to Ringu, released the year before.)

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