Not Stirring at All
Whilst serving in Iraq, National Guard Commander Ted Cogan (Rob Lowe) gives the orders to shoot on a speeding van only to discover it contained a family who went up in flames whilst he and his men came under fire. Seriously injured and in a coma it is some time till Ted recovers and is allowed back home. But suffering from visions and flashbacks he and others think he may be suffering from post traumatic stress except he is unable to get any immediate treatment. As Ted starts to believe he is seeing ghosts one gives him a name of someone who may be able to who recommends trying to find out what these spirits want of him. When Ted's son and friends are hurt in a car accident it all starts to become clear and maybe it isn't him who the spirits want.
As someone who grew up on 80s cinema I have always liked Rob Lowe and it is interesting to see how his career has evolved from pretty boy roles to ones which demand more of him as an actor. Sadly once in a whole Lowe ends up in a role which doesn't demand much of him as an actor and I hate to say it but when Lowe isn't being challenged to deliver a detailed character his performance turns back to giving the looks. That is the case in "Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming" a pretty routine movie about ghosts taking retribution and so on as the character of Ted Cogan just doesn't challenge Rob Lowe and in 9 out of 10 scenes the camera shoots in to close so it is all about his face rather than a physical performance.
Anyway, get beyond the stiff performance from Lowe and the too in his face camera work and what you have left is a split movie. On one hand we have an almost typical ghost story with an American soldier suffering from what turns out to be more than PTSD and in typical fashion these war damaged ghosts are plaguing him for a reason, I bet you can guess what it is long before Ted realises. But at the same time "Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming" seems to be taking a dig at America and the results of their war time activities and attitudes. I am not going to get in to the politics of it but I am sure some patriotic Americans will find this an insulting movie.
But here is the real kicker as "Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming" is of course a horror movie and scene after scene features a disfigured body lurking in the shadows, others suddenly appearing along with strange things occurring and some suggested violence. The trouble is that none of this is scary, none of it makes you jump or cower in horror and you start to wonder when it is going to get good. Sadly you will still be waiting when the credits start to roll.
What this all boils down to is that "Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming" ends up a disappointment, a poor horror movie which is low on frights and suffering from a weak storyline.