Video Picks Archive
This week my picks are Stir of Echoes (1999 - ) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977 - ).
The first film this week was one of the best horror films of
1999, but it tanked at the box office because its premise
was too similar to the inferior
The Sixth Sense.
Kevin Bacon plays a man whose son (Zachary David Cope) has
an imaginary friend named Samantha. After being hypnotized
by Illeana Douglas at a party, he is able to see Samantha
himself, who is actually the ghost of a girl who was killed
in their house. His subsequent obsession with solving the
crime jeopardizes his marriage to Kathryn Erbe.
Stir of Echoes, based on the novel by Richard Matheson
(so stop calling it a rip-off), is a tight thriller with
great scares on an independent budget. Bacon gives a very
strong performance, drawing you into his tormented world.
The second film, of course, is the ultimate study of a man with a supernatural obsession. Richard Dreyfuss has an encounter with a UFO, then starts having visions of a mountain. He nearly goes mad trying to realize his vision and investigating the aliens. Close Encounters of the Third Kind is the first studio film that Steven Spielberg wrote and directed himself. It is a masterpiece of both science fiction and human drama. The finale is still breathtaking even in the age of digital imaging, and no other alien-themed film -- not even E.T. -- has topped it since. If it wasn't for Star Wars, which came out earlier in the same year, this could have been the highest-grossing film in history.
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Stir of Echoes (1999)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 2000 Matt Heffernan