Whep, I lasted one day before I brought up horror films again. I’m spooky, what can I say? I’m just to the center of Agent Mulder when it comes to being on the spectrum of believing in stuff. And ghost stories, especially if Richard Matheson is the writer, are my jam. Maybe we can call this a supernatural drama. Yeah, we’ll call it that. A happy little supernatural drama.
Kevin Bacon is a skeptic in a cool older neighborhood in Chicago with some neighbors who turn out to be totally unreliable a-holes. When his doolally sister-in-law, played by Illeana Douglas, hypnotizes him at a party and suggests he become more open minded, he starts seeing a ghost in his house. Before long he realizes his little boy has been seeing our disembodied friends for a long time, and much more clearly. When the mystery of who is haunting their house gets overwhelming, his wife, Kathryn Erbe, steps in to fight for her man like the badass we all know she is on Law and Order CI.
Stir of Echoes is one of those movies I can watch over and over and still think about how excited I am that my favorite part is coming up, and the whole movie is one favorite part after another. It’s totally unfair that this got overshadowed by the, in my opinion, not as infinitely rewatchable The Sixth Sense. If you don’t dig ghosts, you can always think of them as metaphors. In this case, the ghost is not only a secret that just won’t stay hidden, it’s a representation of the ongoing fight against entitlement! We all know the type of people who think they can do whatever they want just because they’re good at something, and it’s so freaking gratifying when they don’t get to at the end of this film! Thank you ghost! One of my favorite scare tropes is featured here, and it’s something I had nightmares about before I even saw this movie: the electronic device that stays on with ghost activity after it’s unplugged. Chilling. And the Richard Matheson source novel is so good, I couldn’t even tell that it was written in the 50s. It’s pretty timeless. Most older writing seems more dated.
I obviously like Illeana Douglas, seeing as how she’s showed up here two days in a row. I’d like to give her a high five for being one of the best character actresses ever. But more than that I would love to tell the actor who plays the little boy, Zachary David Cope, how much his two movie roles have enhanced my cinephile life. He’s amazing here, but I can’t even express how much laughter mileage I’ve gotten out of his line delivery of “Aunt Linda, you’re a bitch” in The Wedding Singer. In fact, I might even write about that comfort movie tomorrow.
And that leads me to something else I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I like to sing, and although I suck at guitar, thankfully karaoke sites exist. So whenever I feel the urge, from now on I’m going to sing a song from the movie I’m writing about. In this case it’s “It’s Not The Spotlight.” I won’t spoiler the movie, but the scene in which that song plays is so darkly lovely and cathartic. My karaoke site of choice doesn’t have the Beth Orton version from the film, but here’s Rod Stewart’s arrangement.