Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories focuses on Professor Phillip Goodman, (Andy Nyman), a sceptic, as he tries to explain 3 of his ideals cases; revolving around different types of supernatural entities. The 3 cases are all very unique, giving each one a strong sense of identity. Nyman’s character of Goodman has a very strong arc, slowly transitioning to a believer the more the film goes on: as he sees things he can’t explain. The ending, which I’ll talk more about later, really helps to develop Goodman’s character; whilst also showing his motivations for trying to disprove what he would deem delusions. The first case revolves around a night watchman as he is pursued by restless spirits, this case is menacing as it prays on a person’s fear of what lurks in the dark. The second case focuses on a hit and run accident, on a deserted country road, whilst that may sound like a cliché horror movie set up, the performance by Alex Lawther truly elevates it. Lawther constant twitching wide-eyed performance really conveys the unhinged nature of his character bringing a great amount of believability to the role. This second case is the most frightening, with 3 truly haunting words of diegetic dialogue; that you will remember long after you’ve heard them. The third case revolves around Martin Freeman’s character of Mike Priddle, as he talks about the poltergeist that plagued his family. This third case is the weakest having by far the least amount of scares. Ghost Stories plays upon natural humans fears: whether that is the dark or isolated places; forcing the viewer to contemplate whether there is more to the world then they choose to believe, making it a very unsettling film. The ending, in one way it is a triumph, as the message of the film is be careful what you believe in, and the ending certainly hits that message home. However, it is also an anti-climax as it seems to throw away all of the atmosphere and the general feeling of uneasiness, that the film has built.
Overall this is a strong British horror and I would definitely recommend it to genre fans.
Reviewed by Luke

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