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When Movies Attack: The Sixth Sense Vs. Stir of Echoes

Posted October 29, 2012 by Max in Featured

When Movies Attack

[Written by: The Vern from The Vern’s Videovanguard]
Just in time for Halloween I thought I would take a look back at two movies where two boys see dead people and have to convince an older person that they really do exist.  This time it will be The Sixth Sense and Stir of Echoes.  Both were released in 1999, but sadly only one was giving more box office praise then the other.  I’m pretty sure you know which one I’m talking about.  Well this is a new chance to let both of these paranormal classics be admired.  Yes that’s right folks. Let the battles begin.

Spoilers****   Yes I will be giving away major plot points for each movies. If you haven’t seen either movie, you have been warned.

The Sixth Sense Vs. Stir of Echoes

The Challengers

The Sixth Sense

Child Psychologist Malcom Crowe’s (Bruce Willis) new patient Cole (Haley Joel Osment) believes he can talk to dead people. At first Malcom does not believe Cole but later suggests that he help the ghosts with any unfinished business so they can leave in peace.

Stir Of Echoes

At a party, Tom Witzky (Kevin Bacon) gets hypnotized by his sister-in-law (Illeana Douglas) and stars having images of a girl who died
recently. He soon becomes so obsessed by these images that they begin to drive his wife Maggie (Kathryn Erbe) away.


  • Both include kids who can see dead people.  Jake (Zachary David Cope) in Stir of Echoes and Cole (Hayley Joel Osment) in The Sixth Sense both feature adult male leads who skeptical but later do believe what the youngsters are saying.  Tom Witzky (Kevin Bacon) in Stir of Echoes and Malcom Crowe (Bruce Willis) in The Sixth Sense
  • Both movies have young girls who were murdered and their deaths were covered up.  The girl who was slowly poisoned by her mother in The Sixth Sense and The girl who was murdered by one of Tom’s friend’s son in Stir of Echoes
  • In each movie the mother is hysterical at first, but later becomes more involved with finding out the truth Toni Collete in The Sixth Sense, and Katheryn Erbe in Stir of Echoes
  • The ghosts in both movies start off as scary but then become nice once you know the cause of their deaths
  • The tones of either movie is very serious and dramatic.  No room for jokes in either version
  • Both movies have a good amount of gore


  • Jake in Stir of Echoes is actually more happy to talk to dead people then Cole from The Sixth Sense who is more depressed by his gift
  • Malcom (The Sixth Sense) realizes he was dead the whole time unlike Tom (Stir of Echoes)
  • Malcom and Cole (The Sixth Sense) help solve multiple cases of ghosts finishing their business on earth, while Tom and Jake (Stir of Echoes) only help with just one
  • The Sixth Sense is rated PG-13 and Stir of Echoes is rated R
  •  The Sixth Sense can only be watched twice but after that it looses it’s appeal. Stir of Echoes never has that issue
  • Stir of Echoes was based on a book by Richard Matterson (I Am Legend) and adapted by David Keopp (Premium Rush). The Sixth Sense was an original story by M. Night Shyamalan

Closing Thoughts.

When I first saw The Sixth Sense I was completely enthralled with what was going on, and the twist of having its main character to be dead the entire time was something I was not expecting at all and it completely floored me, but after that it wasn’t much fun to watch. It was cool to see with someone if they have not seen it,but it rarely has any re-watchability favors in my opinion. Stir of Echoes however is just a fun ghost movie that I could watch again and again and never get bored.  David Keopp has some pretty memorable scenes that are worth revisiting even if you all ready know the outcome of the story. If someone you know has never seen either I would start with The Sixth Sense and end with Stir of Echoes.

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About the Author


Chief Editor of Impassionedcinema. A film enthusiast who studies and creates his own films. Criticizing movies is his favorite pass-time.