(1999)3.5Jason ClarkAn effectively creepy thriller by Hollywood scribe David Koepp (who penned the blockbuster Jurassic Park), this film explores hypnotism and delusional horror with an acuteness unusual for a film of its genre. Eschewing gore and fake shock tactics, Koepp uses his material as a means of exploring his main character's psyche. To this end, Kevin Bacon's resourceful portrayal perfectly embodies the archetype of a family man threatening to be done in by his demons. The film's momentum dissipates as it draws nearer to its semi-predictable conclusion, but the engrossing storyline and excellent use of Chicago locations create a tangible world for the tale, and make it easier to relate to on a human level. In an luckless bit of coincidence, The Sixth Sense was released just a few weeks prior to Stir, and the similarly ghoulish ghost story (both involve the use of a young boy as an oracle for otherworldly devices) all but crippled this film's opportunity to reach the moviegoing masses.