Stir of Echoes (1999)
After being hypnotized by his sister-in-law, a man begins seeing haunting visions of a girl's ghost and a mystery begins to unfold around him.
A man is hypnotized at a party by his sister-in law. He soon has visions and dreams of a ghost of a girl. Trying to avoid this, nearly pushes him to brink of insanity as the ghost wants something from him - to find out how she died. The only way he can get his life back is finding out the truth behind her death. The more he digs, the more he lets her in, the shocking truth behind her death puts his whole family in danger.
Tom's a regular guy, a utilities lineman, married, with a young son, his wife is pregnant; he hangs out with long-time pals in a Chicago neighborhood. At a party, his sister-in-law hypnotizes him, and he goes into a deep trance. Before waking him, she suggests that he keep his mind open. That night he sees flashes of violence and the ghost of a young woman. His young son, too, is "a receiver," but while the boy is calm and coherent in his conversations with spirits, Tom is confused and agitated. Over time, the young woman's story comes to the surface, and Tom begins a hunt for her body that puts him and his usually understanding wife, Maggie, in grave danger.
Tom Witzky is a lineman for a utility company. He's a typical working-class guy who lives in Chicago with his pregnant wife Maggie and his son Jake. Tom likes to hang out with his friends, who include Frank McCarthy and Harry Damon. One night at a party, Tom ends up in a discussion with Maggie's sister Lisa, who believes in psychic communication and the power of hypnosis. Tom challenges Lisa to hypnotize him, and she plants in him a post-hypnotic suggestion to be more open-minded...with results that were never, ever expected. That night, he sees images of violence and the ghost of Samantha Kozac, a young woman who disappeared from the neighborhood some time ago, and is now believed to be dead. Jake also sees Samantha's ghost, but while Jake is calm about it, Tom always seems angry that the images won't stop coming. Jake's baby-sitter Debbie Kozac is Samantha's sister, who is still distraught because of Samantha's disappearance. When Debbie discovers that Jake has been talking to Samantha's ghost, Debbie becomes frantic, and she thinks Jake may know where Samantha is. Determined to figure out what's going on, Tom begins a hunt for Samantha's body, and it's a hunt that threatens to kill Tom, Maggie, and Jake, because there is someone who does not want Samantha's body to be found.
- Tom Witzky (Kevin Bacon) is a phone lineman living in a working-class neighborhood in Chicago with his pregnant wife Maggie (Kathryn Erbe) and his son Jake (Zachary David Cope), who possesses the ability to commune with the dead. At a party one evening, Tom challenges Maggie's sister Lisa (Illeana Douglas), a believer in paranormal activity and psychic telepathy, to hypnotize him. After putting him under, Lisa plants a post-hypnotic suggestion in Tom urging him to "be more open-minded." Tom then begins experiencing visions of a violent scuffle involving a girl who he later learns is Samantha Kozac (Jennifer Morrison), a 17 year-old that disappeared from the neighborhood six months prior.
While Tom and Maggie attend a high school football game, Jake is overheard by his babysitter, Debbie Kozac (Liza Weil), as he speaks with Samantha. Debbie gets upset and snatches Jake, running off with him in the night. Meanwhile, Tom senses Jake is in danger and rushes home but finds him gone. Tom then sees strange flashes of red light that eventually leads him to the 'L' station where Debbie is speaking with her mother about Jake. When Tom and Maggie confront her, Debbie angrily questions them about her sister Samantha, explaining that she had an intellectual disability: having the mental capacity of an 8 year-old and thus, a child's tendency to trust strangers. Tom denies knowing her to Debbie, but admits to Maggie that she's the girl in his visions.
Tom becomes obsessed with Samantha and begins probing members of the community about her disappearance. This attracts the attention of his landlord Harry Damon (Conor O'Farrell), Tom's friend, Frank McCarthy (Kevin Dunn) and their respective sons Kurt Damon (Steve Rifkin) and Adam McCarthy (Chalon Williams), who all dismiss Samantha as a runaway teen. During an afternoon walk, Jake and Maggie encounter a funeral where Chicago policemen are saluting in a ceremony; here a policeman named Neil (Eddie Bo Smith Jr.) immediately recognizes Jake's unique talent and invites Tom to a private gathering of like-minded people to learn more about what is happening to his son. Maggie withholds her conversation with Neil from Tom and goes to the meeting herself where Neil tells her the spirit that contacted Tom has asked for something and will continue to get upset if it doesn't get done. As predicted, Samantha begins plaguing Tom, eventually leading to his insomnia. He goes back to Lisa demanding she undo what she did, but when she hypnotizes him he's told by the spirit to dig. Tom complies and begins digging holes in the backyard and eventually tears up the house in a desperate attempt to appease Samantha.
While Maggie and Jake attend her grandmother's wake at a relative's house, Tom inadvertently knocks down a shoddy brick wall in the basement and discovers Samantha's decomposed remains wrapped in a plastic sheet. He receives a vision showing him that before his family moved in, Adam and Kurt lured Samantha into the house to rape her. When she resisted, they unintentionally suffocated her and hid her body. Tom brings Frank back to the basement to disclose to him the crime and Frank breaks down and admits that Adam and Kurt had already confided their secret to him and Harry. Frank pulls out a gun and demands to be alone. As Tom leaves the basement, he hears a single shot and assumes that Frank committed suicide.
Harry and Kurt suddenly show up and Harry, in his capacity as landlord, voices displeasure with the torn up house. They corner Tom with the intention of killing him to silence him, but Maggie arrives back home and Harry takes her hostage. Frank suddenly emerges from the basement and fatally shoots both Kurt and Harry in order to save Tom and Maggie. Tom then notices Samantha's spirit putting on her glasses and coat, smiling as she walks down the road and disappears. Afterwards, the family packs up a U-Haul and moves out of the house. Meanwhile, Samantha's mother and sister are finally able to give her a proper funeral and burial. Tom and Maggie smile happily as they drive away but Jake, however, tries to cover his ears to drown out the sound of the overlapping voices in his head.