If you liked to have seen the TV series, Tales from the Crypt, retold in an unique British style (and love being scared of course) then you will probably like this.
- Screenplay by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman (both Feature Film Debut)
- Directed by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman (both Feature Film Debut)
- Starring Andy Nyman (The Commuter, Peaky Blinders [TV]), Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, The Office [TV]), Paul Whitehouse (Alice in Wonderland, The Fast Show [TV]) and Alex Lather (End of the F****** World [TV], Black Mirror [TV])
- Budget of Unknown (Spooky right)
My initial thoughts
After seeing a few (not so scary) horror films this year, Ghost Stories storms into being the number one horror film of the year and will undoubtedly be a cult classic in years to come. A genuinely brilliant debut film by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, you will be tense enough to regret your decision watching but also pulled in by the great story that supports the film.
The ‘ccc’ review
Originally a play (also written by Dyson and Nyman), Ghost Stories has been given the big screen treatment…and it doesn’t disappoint. The film follows Professor Goodman (Nyman) a psychologist who goes about debunking the supernatural. When his mentor and idol contacts him out of the blue telling him that all their beliefs are miss-founded, he challenges Goodman to find a rational explanation for three cases that he could never explained. Goodman investigates, with each tale more unnerving than the last. So is Ghost Stories a remarkable tale or should it have been left back in the theatre?….
The opening of the film sets up the rest of the film. The title credits jump out at you and scare the life out of you (a-la Cabin in the Woods style) and we are given the backstory of Nyman’s character which leads smoothly into the three mini stories.
This is where the film really thrives. The advantage of structuring the film to have three mini stories is that you can build up to the scares a lot quicker and create constant tension as the audience quickly moves from one case to the next barely letting your beating heart have a rest. The flow of the film hangs nicely as they all knitted together by having one constant, Goodman himself.
For a debut film, it is very impressive. A brilliant British horror that sets the right tone throughout. A film that comes to mind is Women in Black that followed the same path (a scary play made into a film) albeit that had a much bigger budget and I would have to say that Ghost Stories is much better.
You can tell this is an exceptional horror when you are still trying to guess the ending towards the later stages of the film. After it finishes you will really appreciate the directing and the intricacies of the film. Ghost Stories does have its strange moments and if you have ever seen the League of Gentlemen TV show (also written by Dyson) this is not surprising, but this does not take away much from the overall film.
As with most plays, the cast is relatively small and the film this is no different. Strong performances all round contribute greatly to the success of the film. Nyman does of a good job of slowing morphing into someone who questions his own beliefs and sanity. Paul Whitehouse has his same old jovial front but shows the vulnerability of someone who may have seen a ghost and Martin Freeman does well to change the pace of the film when needed. Alex Lather again puts in another performance of being the weird person and is now rivalling Dane Dehaan (Chronicle) and Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out) as the top strange actor to cast.
What are my final Thoughts
This is definitely one those films when you are a bit more jumpy on the way home but that only means that the horror film has achieved its minimal objective. But Ghost Stories is more than just a scare film, it is a clever story which will make you say at the end, “yeah that’s smart”, delivered by a very good cast.
🎥👻If you like a good scare (backed by a great story) the. A must watch