Ghost Stories (2017)

ghost stories poster 2017 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Anthology horror is fun

Falls into cliches more than the originality it attempts to reach

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Ghost Stories

Studio:  Warp Films

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  October 5, 2017 (London Film Festival)/April 6, 2018 (UK)/April 20, 2018 (US)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

ghost stories dead girl

I just wanna hug!

Professor Goodman (Andy Nyman) is a skeptic who believes that the unknown tortures those who fear it.  Goodman as the host of a popular debunking show is contacted to investigate three stories of the unknown and afterlife.  Investigating a night watchman named Tony Matthews (Paul Whitehouse), a disturbed young man named Simon Rifkind (Alex Lawther), and a businessman named Mike Priddle (Martin Freeman), Goodman will be faced by the unknown…and it could reveal the truth!

Written and directed by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, Ghost Stories is a horror anthology film.  The movie was originally released at the London Film Festival in 2017 and received a wider release in 2018.  It was met with positive reviews.

I’m always up for a new horror movie and I always like anthologies.  I heard some good stuff about Ghost Stories and was anxious to see it.  While I think that Ghost Stories is an interesting movie, I wasn’t as impressed as I hoped to be.  Due to story aspects, a ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the rest of the film.

ghost stories demon woods

Is running over the Devil covered in my insurance?

Ghost Stories is best when it is being an anthology.  The movie starts out with an investigator who is called in to investigate three cases.  The cases are rather mundane (in a horror sense).  The first story is a pretty typical ghost story with a man being haunted by a child.  The second story isn’t supernatural as much as demonic in nature and feels like a classic pulp horror tale.  The third story has a shocking ending, but is also rather typical, but I do like that the stories have no real answers…then the walls crash down (literally).  The twist is too obvious and the final scene feels more like The Wizard of Oz than the horror that the story was cultivating.

Andy Nyman is a believable as a researcher (and kind of reminds me of David Costabile).  The movie’s first two subjects played by Tony Matthews and Simon Rifkind are good in their “normalcy” and add credence to their stories.  Martin Freeman provides a bit of a problem to the film.  First it is obvious that the “old man” is in make-up (and I thought it was Martin Freeman just watching it), and it ruined the reveal and the final act.  He also really changes the tone of the story (even in the ghost story segment he feels like a caricature before it is revealed he is).   If you are creating an illusion in your head as Nyman’s character is, I don’t think you’d make a joke of the horror.

ghost stories dead kid

Welcome back to your own private Hell!

While the “old man” make-up isn’t very good, the rest of the movie does most of the horror based on less is more.  You get a pretty good view of the ghost girl, but the other creatures are just flashes.  This is a bit frustrating at points (especially during the second story), but the film does a good job building suspense through the movie.

Ghost Stories is a bit of a mixed bag.  It is so close to being really good and original, but an ending that feels tacked on doesn’t help the story.  I realize throughout the film there are moments littering the stories that hint at the ending, but it feels like the full fruition of the story never comes to be.  I will always give horror anthologies a chance and this is a decent anthology…but not a great one.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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