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Genre: Horror/Thriller
Starring: Rob Lowe, Marnie McPhail, Ben Lewis, Shawn Roberts, Vik Sahay
Director: Ernie Barbarash
Rating: NC-16 (Gore & Coarse Language)
Year Made: 2007







Languages: English
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: -
Sound: -
Running Time: 1 hr 29 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Scorpio East




Ted Cogan (Rob Lowe) is a U.S. soldier fighting in Iraq when he is injured in an explosion during an attack that left an innocent Iraq family dead, and him comatose with a head wound. Upon awakening, Ted returns to his home in Chicago and after he has encounters of increasingly frightening visions of dead people, including a burn victim, Ted begins to realize that his injury has unlocked some gift of clairvoyance and he is targeted by ghosts seeking his help. As Ted tries to unlock the mystery, his worried and skeptical wife Molly, and teenage son Max, hinder his quest for the truth in the matter, which lies closer than Ted can ever imagine.


What exactly is a ‘stir or echoes’? Well, judging from this movie, and its predecessor, it’s when you start seeing dead people. It’s when you start hearing voices from those dead people. And it’s when you realize that it ain’t totally random, that there is somehow a connection between you and that dead person who’s talking to you, and yes it’s an intimate connection.

But hold on- doesn’t that happen in almost all horror movies when the living start to see, hear or talk to the dead? No matter, the filmmakers have decided that the ‘stir or echoes’ concept is so unique that they had to name this part two after the David Koepp thriller starring Kevin Bacon that was released some ten years ago.

Other than that however, this sequel bears no relation to the earlier, far superior movie. Writer/ director Ernie Barbarash sets his story around a National Guard soldier Ted Cogan (Rob Lowe) who returns home from the war and is haunted by visions of the dead. Could it be due to the group of unarmed Iraqi civilians his men had accidentally opened fire on and killed, thinking that they were terrorists?

Well, any perceptive horror fan will tell you that it’s just a red herring to distract you from what’s really going on. The bright spot in this sequel is how writer/director Barbarash has anchored his movie firmly in post-911 America, where the families of soldiers sent abroad to fight the war have to await anxiously for news of their loved ones, who may be killed anytime by the extremists in Afghanistan or Iraq.

What’s worse than living in this constant fear is how it changes the psyche of these family members, and how America’s war on terror can so easily morph into the ugly beast of racism and hate crimes on home ground. Yes, such are the issues that ‘Stir of Echoes 2’ raises, which is, I must say, pleasantly surprising considering how shallow most horror flicks these days really are.

Of course if you’re just in it for the scares, there’s plenty of those to be had here as well. Unfortunately, director Barbarash is also fond of the cheapest kind of trick in the horror book- sudden jump cuts with loud ‘boo’ noises to make you jump in your seat. Used judiciously, they can help build atmosphere; used ad nauseum as in this movie, it is simply overkill. Nevertheless, there are still enough elements here to make you feel spooked.

Headlining this sequel is The West Wing’s Rob Lowe who tries his best to emote as a war veteran haunted not just by his memories of the war, but also the dead people he’s seeing. Still he doesn’t hold a candle to Kevin Bacon in part one. Bacon possesses a naturally gaunt, hollowed out look that will immediately convince you of his travails. That’s something Lowe doesn’t have despite his best efforts.

As a direct to DVD release, Stir of Echoes 2 isn’t at all bad. Certainly, neither is it that outstanding. Some of its ideas may not be original, but it still is surprisingly scary. Considering some of the dreck horror flicks that are out there in the cinemas, there’s no harm in checking this out if you need a good jolt.


This Code 3 DVD contains no extra features.


Picture’s decent enough and the audio’s only presented in Dolby 2.0 so don’t expect a surround-sound scare.



Review by Gabriel Chong


Other titles from Scorpio East:

. Set Off

. Marigold

. Beast Stalker

. My Best Friend's Girl

. The Reef

. Connected

. Painted Skin

. 12 Lotus

. The Coffin

. The Luckiest Man

. Forget Me Not

. The Black Swindler

. Rule #1

. Dance of the Dragon

. Money No Enough 2

. Chaos

. Midnight Eagle

. The Leap Years

. Ancient Chinese Sports

. There Will Be Blood

. The Nanny Diaries

. The Magic Gourd

. Death Proof

. Dead Air

. A Tale of Mari and Her Puppies

. My Wife is a Gambling Maestro

. Fatal Move

. An Empress and the Warriors

. Ah Long Pte Ltd

. Talking Cock The Movie

. 2 Faces of My Girlfriend

. Lust Caution

. 881

. Brothers

. Ratatouille

. The Invisible

. The Lookout

. Alone

. Bar Paradise

. China Vampire

. Hooked On You

. Underdog

. Keeping Up With The Steins

. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

. High School Musical 2: Extended Edition

. Pixar Short Films Volume One

. Who Slept With Her?

. The Jungle Book

. Disney Princess Enchanted Tales

. Meet The Robinsons

. Goal II: Living the Dream

. Hanna Montana

. Meet The Robinsons

. Wild Hogs

. Breaking And Entering

. Jump In

. Primeval

. Forest of Death

. The Fox and the Hound 2

. The Fox and the Hound

. Dumbo

. One Last Dance

. Protege

. The Curse of the Golden Flower

. A Battle Of Wits

. Rain Dogs

. Heavenly Mission

. Exiled

. Operation Undercover

. Diary

. Fatal Contact

. Singapore Dreaming

. Rob-B-Hood

. On The Edge

. The World's Fastest Indian

. Dragon Tiger Gate

. Unarmed Combat

. Crazy Stone

. Election 2

. We Are Family

. I Not Stupid Too

. The Shoe Fairy

. 2 Becomes 1

. 49 Days


. Dragon Eye Congee

. A Chinese Tall Story

. Perhaps Love


. Election

. The Myth

. Wait 'Til You're Older

. The Maid


This review is made possible with the kind support from Scorpio East


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