Stir of Echoes

Director/Writer:David Koepp
Artisan Entertainment; R; 99 minutes
Cast:Kevin Bacon, James Howard, Kathryn Erbe, Illeana Douglas

In blue-collar Chicago a drunk electrician is hypnotized. Unfortunately, Tom (Kevin Bacon) doesn't stop seeing things after he wakes up. For example: Tom soon learns that his son's invisible playmate is horribly real. Even with a third eye, the father is still the last to know what's going on, and Stir of Echoes works best when Tom's trying to make some sense out of the paranormal interruptions in his workaday existence.

As the story materializes, the initial creepiness congeals into a predictable, dread-free tale. Stir of Echoes suffers the misfortune of following the spooky supernatural oomph of The Sixth Sense, against whose narrative excellence it seems contrived. Kevin Bacon does wonders as a family man becoming unhinged, trying to sort out the visions before darker shadows settle on his home. Those seeking supernatural chills after Sixth Sense or Blair Witch could do worse than turn to Stir of Echoes. They could also do better.