Ghost Stories: Film Review

I don’t usually do horror movies but I felt bad about missing Ghost Stories at the London Film Festival and decided to check it out. I’m normally against reviews with spoilers but they’re really needed here for you to understand my issues with it.

In this film adaptation of Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s stage play of the same name, Nyman plays Professor Phillip Goodman, who has made a career out of debunking psychics and unexplained supernatural phenomena. One day he is invited to meet a formerly like-minded skeptic who seems to be dying, and he presents to him three unexplained cases which he thinks will make Goodman believe in the supernatural.

Goodman goes to investigate these cases – Tony Matthews (Paul Whitehouse), who saw a young ghost girl in an empty warehouse while working as its night watchman, Simon Rifkind (Alex Lawther), who had an encounter with some devil-like creature when his car broke down in the woods, and Mike Priddle (Martin Freeman), who seemed to have a poltergeist in his home.

However, during the investigation it becomes apparent that something is up with Goodman. I realised it wasn’t going to be a straightforward explaining-the-unexplained story when motifs from Goodman’s present day would appear in the flashbacks explaining the cases, or something supernatural would happen in his present day. I had no idea what was going to happen but I was keeping track of recurring things, such as birds.

*THIS IS THE SPOILER PART*  The film takes a turn that I didn’t expect and it becomes very, very weird. You have to just go with it until the explanation comes. I really enjoyed Ghost Stories up until the twist, when everything changes, and but then I became conflicted. I’m not sure if I liked the ending or not. I must admit it made the film much more interesting and went somewhere I never expected, but at the same time, I was always taught in school to avoid ending stories with it being all a dream or in the person’s imagination because it’s a bit of a cop out. And that’s essentially what happens here.

The film is riveting, intriguing and I enjoyed it wholeheartedly up until the twist. The actors were good – especially Lawther, who I think is just nailing it every time. The stories are pretty jumpy and scary (although not as much as some serious horror fans would like) and expectantly funny in places too.

In cinemas Friday 6th April

Trackbacks

  1. […] Game and his subsequent work in Black Mirror, The End of the F***ing, Goodbye Christopher Robin and Ghost Stories proved his ability to play odd, tortured, offbeat characters – but he goes above and beyond […]

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