Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ghost Stories - Movie Review

The Movie: Ghost Stories

The Director: Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman

The Cast: Andy Nyman, Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther

The Story: Arch skeptic Professor Phillip Goodman embarks upon a terror-filled quest when he stumbles across a long-lost file containing details of three cases of inexplicable 'hauntings'.

The Review:
Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, who wrote and directed this feature film, have stitched together a horror movie that gives you bits and pieces of everything you want from the genre. Split into three stories based on paranormal cases, we get a lot of psychological thriller with some highly effective jump scares and a creepiness factor that blankets the entire narrative. From the opening credits, there is an uneasiness that gets inside you that is very unsettling although there are bits and pieces of humor thrown in to help remind you this is all just good fun.

The creative team does an outstanding job of using light, shadows, objects, and reflections to trick your eyes into thinking there is something right there that is about to scare the crap out of you. There's a sequence in a car where every time it cuts to a certain camera angle, I could have sworn for just a split second that the passenger seat was a thing/ghost/monster but each time it was always just a chair. So creepy. After a while I was able to really enjoy this aspect of the film as it is used effectively throughout and in different ways depending on each of the three stories.

The lead character is played by co-writer/co-director Andy Nyman and he does a great job of being the eyes and ears of the audience as he travels from place to place doing interviews and investigating locations. Martin Freeman, in a supporting role, is fantastic as he adds a little creepiness to the distinctive personality we have always seen from him in The Hobbit, Sherlock, and the Marvel movies. The rest of the cast fits the tone of the film nicely and each adds a distinct creepiness or unease just like everything else.

The Verdict:
Ghost Stories has everything you want from a horror movie and I love the fact that it has so many fun horror movie moments. It's scary, it's uncomfortable, it's dark, it's entertaining, and the ending is so crazy you'll be sitting there wondering what just happened.

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