Flawed But Watchable Sequel.
In "Stir Of Echoes", the always watchable Kevin Bacon played a man who
began to see restless spirits after being hypnotised at a party and
subsequently uncovered a terrible crime. "Stir Of Echoes: The
Homecoming" utilises this premise and gives it a twist. Our main
character here is U.S Patrol Captain Ted Cogan who is forced to give
the order which leads to the death of a family in Iraq. He is also
wounded and falls into a coma which - much like the hypnosis from the
first movie - turns him into a 'receiver', able to see the ghosts
"Stir Of Echoes: The Homecoming" uses the horror genre to comment on
the situation in Iraq and its effect on Americans back home. For
example, early in the story we have a party in which one of Cogan's
neighbours makes a racist joke which results in laughter from some and
an outburst of anger from Cogan. It's an interesting idea but,
unfortunately, the script is not quite strong enough to quite carry it
off. There's a good idea at work here but the movie comes off as far
too preachy in places for its own good.
The horror aspects are well done and very interesting. As the ghosts
haunting Cogan become more frustrated and aggressive, their attacks
become increasingly more violent. Much like Bacon's character in the
first movie, Cogan also experiences various hallucinations related to
future events. I certainly can't fault the work of director Ernie
Barbarish who manages to stretch a small budget out so the movie looks
If I had to point out the areas where this movie fails, the most
obvious area is the casting of Rob Lowe as Cogan. It would be hard for
any actor to follow Kevin Bacon but Lowe appears to sleepwalk through
most of the movie. There are moments when you glimpse him come alive
but, for the most part, he seems to be there just to pick up his money
which is a shame. The second failing of the movie comes with its
conclusion which simply didn't sit right with me at all.
Strangely, Bacon's son from the original "Stir Of Echoes" appears in a
cameo role in this movie but has been greatly aged which suggests that
the sequel takes place many years later. Although it was a nice way to
tie the two movies together, this decision ultimately baffled me.
Despite its flaws, its still a watchable movie. If you enjoyed the
first movie, then you might still enjoy "Stir Of Echoes: The
Homecoming" if you can forgive its sledgehammer approach to racism and
the current situation in Iraq. Unfortunately, if you've seen the first
movie then you'll also probably realise where the story is going due to
certain similarities in its plot. Is it worth purchasing on DVD? No. Is
it worth a rental? Well, if you like supernatural horror movies then
there are certainly worse ways to spend an hour and a half..
A little disappointing sequel
The first Stir of Echoes is IMO the most underrated horror film ever.
Had it not came out at the same time as The Sixth Sense maybe it would
have done better, but sometimes the little known gems are the best.
Heard about the sequel a while back ago, and was kinda excited.
Disappointed when I heard it wasn't getting a theatrical release, but I
have come to find out that these little know gems do get released STD.
Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling this movie. First of all, is it just me
or did it seem very fast paced? I like fast paced, but not to fast that
it feels like the movie is just an hour long or shorter. And the
creepiness of the first movie was certainly missing here. And wow, what
a downgrade music wise. From the classic Rolling Stones song "Paint it
Black" (albeit it was a cover version, but I like any version of that
song) to some rap song? I know that song kinda had to do with what was
happening, but rap? Bleh! And the twist wasn't quite too shocking that
it had me going "no way!"
And this just did not feel at all like a Stir of Echoes sequel at all
to me. OK, we had Jake from the first movie all grown up. How long ago
were the events of the first movie? Or are we still at war 20 or 30
years in the future (man I hope not)? And why no mention of his dad?
But at least they brought back the OJ drinking.
Overall, it wasn't a bad movie, but many miles away from the underrated