Be careful what you believe in
Director: Andy Nyman & Jeremy Dyson
Staring: Andy Newman, Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther, Paul Whitehouse
Making a living debunking the supernatural occurrences and psychics for his tv show psychic fakers, the pragmatic Professor Philip Goodman sets out to disprove the three cases that eluded his predecessor.
Straddling a line somewhere between an anthology, a documentary and a straightforward horror film, Ghost Stories feels more intellectual than the majority of recent horror releases, taking strong influences from the 2010 west end stage show in which it stems from, with the three cases feeling almost like the first, second and third act of a play, with the tension ramping up throughout.
I’m somewhere on the fence for the film, there were aspects that I loved, the strong acting, the haunting imagery and the Easter eggs throughout that point to the twist ending, sadly however there are aspects of the film that let it down such as the over-reliance on jump scares and some comic moments that take you out of the movie, both of which ruin the tension that the film tries so hard to build up.
As well as this there were things about the film that in hindsight make sense once the twist has occurred **spoilers** such as the almost confusing nature of the film, skipping between documentary to normal cinematic formats, almost as if it takes place in the mind of someone with a confused thought process, whilst the imperfections on the film give it the feel of an echo of the past and not a true reflection of what’s really going on.
Overall Ghost Stories is an interesting take on the anthology horror genre, providing more of an overall story arc than most and despite its shortcomings still ends up as a cleverly written quirky British psychological horror film, just remember that the brain sees what it wants to see.
If you liked: League of Gentlemen, Ghost Watch, Identity