Quick Hit: A scary anthology that all comes together in the end, in a confusing but satisfying manner.
There’s not many things that are better than a good collection of ghost stories. They find a good way into your brain and wiggle down deep, giving you a deep feel for the horror of what you’ve just heard/read/seen. I think a lot of the best stories are about people like me – those that feel like they’ve seen it all, done it all, and been scared to the deepest depths of our cores. There’s also the stories like this one that focus on those that try and debunk the supernatural. In this film, we follow Professor Goodman, a man who runs a television show that is designed to try and root out physic phenomenon that is faked. He takes a kind of manic glee in his work, even when it is obviously wrecking those that so vehemently believed.
Eventually, he is given an opportunity to investigate some cases that convinced his mentor, an older man who ran a television show that was similar, that ghosts are real. He dives deep into these worlds, finding convincing evidence that these people may be creating things on their own, within their own minds, but he also is shaken by what he finds. It’s here that the movie really starts to pick up steam, with each story tying slightly to the next. This is all framed by Goodman’s own story of belief and horror.
The best thing that I can say about this film is that while I was watching I felt a profound sense of dis-ease. It was full of different aspects that captured that – the lighting was terrific but never overly dark, the music was ominous and often times swallowed you whole – but it was the lack of the typical jump scares that I thought really took the film over the edge and into a territory that makes it fairly good. Martin Freeman is a standout in the third of the stories, as he manages to bring a bit of manic glee into the sense of a father who is haunted by his new child. It’s a great performance in a film that’s full of them.
I will preface this, Ghost Stories is going to be far too slow for many fans. It’s a slow burn of a film, one that isn’t afraid to tell the story that IT wants to tell. It’s refreshing for someone like me – I’ve really enjoyed the fact that films like these are coming back into vogue – but those that are used to faster paced horror may find themselves sitting in the dark waiting for something that never comes.
Overall, Ghost Stories is worth a watch for genre fans. I’m giving it a “B+”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"