One from the to watch pile…
Ghost Stories (2017)
Film: Sometimes I’ll buy a dvd or a bluray for no reason other than I find something evocative about it, be it a dumb name, the fact it’s a sequel to something I’ve previously enjoyed (yes, for some reason I have Bring it On!, a funny movie, and all its sequels, each one crapper and crapper than the last) or if there someone on the cover who sparks interest.
It was the latter that caused me to pick up this one.
The first reason was it has a great big image of Martin Freeman on the cover, and I thought it surprising that one of the stars of The Hobbit, Black Panther and Ali G Indahouse would be in something I had never heard of. The other thing that was interesting was the other names of the cover: Andy Nyman who appeared in the documentary Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship and Video Tapes from 2010 and Paul Whitehouse who was one of the stars of the comedy TV series The Fast Show.
What I found particularly interesting was that this was written and directed by Nyman along with League of Gentleman writer/ actor/ director Jeremy Dyson, and was based on a stage play of the same name written by them.
Ghost Stories tells of Professor Goodman (Andy Nyman), a notorious debunker of psychics and ghost stories who was heavily influenced by a TV star who was employed to do the same thing, but who mysteriously disappeared.
Surprisingly, he receives a letter from the former TV host and tracks him down to a small remote caravan where he lives basically in squalor.
Goodman is asked to investigate three ghost stories that he was unable to debunk, and report back with his findings. The people he must investigate though have had their lives, at various levels, destroyed by their experiences.
The first investigation leads him to former night watchman, Tony Matthews (Whitehouse) who whilst on duty is haunted by a young girl in a yellow raincoat, who eventually locks him in a room.
The second investigation is with Simon Rifkind (Alex Lawther), a young man who can barely leave his room due to the fright he had. One night, whilst driving home from a party along a quiet road through a forest, his car breaks down and he is visited by a ‘thing’ (Paul Warren) which scares him almost to death.
The last investigation is the haunting of Mike Priddle (Paul Freeman), a man who, whilst waiting for his wife to give birth, is visited at home by a poltergeist which ends up being a portent for some extraordinarily bad news.
Goodman sees a link within all the stories, and once he sees them, his life takes a dramatic left turn and he realizes that nothing is as it seems, and these tales may have something to do with him…
This film was apparently filmed over a weekend, and it shows that a solid, incredible film can be pumped out quick-as-you-like. The script by Nyman and Dyson is solid and every performance is amazing, and each of the individual stories are well made, and quite scary. Where the story goes is also so bizarre and left field, but there is clues… oh yes, there are clues which become clear upon a second watch.
This is a great film with a small cast that is an amazing watch. Highly recommended.
Format: This film was reviewed with the Australian R4 DVD which was presented in a just fine 2.39:1 image with a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.
WISIA: This will definitely get rewatched several times as I think even on my second review watching, I may have missed some stuff!