FILM REVIEW: GHOST STORIES
Director and Writer: Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman
Starring: Andy Nyman, Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther, Paul Warren, Kobna Holdebrook-Smith, Nicholas Burns
Release Date: April 20, 2018
Ghost Stories, written and directed by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson, takes us along the path of Professor Philip Goodman (Andy Nyman), an investigative writer and talk show host, who specializes in debunking the paranormal, spiritual and psychic experience. As a faulty and conceited man by nature, we have little empathy for Goodman when his fixation on proving others as frauds hurts innocent people along the way.
When Goodman is notified of three unsolved incidents by the mysterious recommendation of his long time idol and peer skeptic Charles Cameron (Leonard Byrne), Goodman learns that the man who had inspired him years before as a child, now believes he made a grave error in judgement concluding some cases cannot be disproved.
While Ghost Stories is an anthology tale, it removes the typical plotline we have become accustomed to. Each of the three creepy stories is interwoven with its main character and has actual affect on his life. As Goodman searches for answers, he becomes even more deeply connected to the questions.
The three interwoven anecdotes bring traditional horror to Ghost Stories without the use of cheap tactics like gratuitous blood and jump scares-but you will jump. In the first, a nightwatchman (Paul Whitehouse) is terrorized by an entity in an abandoned asylum. The second features a skittish young man (Alex Lawther) lost in the woods as a demonic creature hunts him. The third tale features a wealthy ex-banker (Martin Freeman) whose home becomes invaded by evil spirits just as his pregnant wife battles distressing childbirth.
As Ghost Stories enters its final act we discover the connections between the characters. For those of you who hate movies that leave many questions to the viewership, Ghost Stories does a complete job at summing up the whole. This effective, slow burn suspense leads us to a twist so grand, it produces a literal gasp amongst viewers; a sure sign the director has gotten it right.