Ghost Stories (2017)

Ghost Stories
Director: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Writer: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Based on: their own play
Cast: Andy Nyman, Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther, Paul Warren, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Nicholas Burns, Daniel Hill, Derren Brown
Part of: /slash Filmfestival special screening
Seen on: 13.4.2018

Phillip Goodman doesn’t believe in ghosts and he has made it his life’s mission to disprove cases of hauntings. But he gets handed three cases by his great idol Charles Cameron (Leonard Byrne). Cases that Cameron was unable to explain, turning him from a sceptic into a believer. Goodman delves deeper into the stories to figure out what’s going on.

Ghost Stories is an entertaining film, although the episodes differ in strength and the solution was a little overdone. But overall I enjoyed the film.

Ghost Stories has a nice balance of episodic structure and overarching plot, managing to tie everything together in the end. I liked that bit and I generally had nothing against the solution, but I did think that they tied it up a little too neatly, a little too obviously. It would have profited from a bit more uncertainty, I thought.

But even if everything culminates into a single story, there are three notably different episodes to the story. The first episode is a classic ghost story and it did become really creppy indeed, just as you want it to be. The second story was my absolute favorite. It was at the same time funny and a little scary and very emotional. That it works so beautifully is mostly thanks to Alex Lawther who was absolutely fantastic as the episode’s protagonist.

The third episode was probably the weakest. Maybe simply because it’s already geared very much towards the end and the solution to the story and doesn’t stand on its own as much as the other two (although they too include hints at the explanation).

But even with the differences between the episodes, it does come together nicely. It would have been even nicer if they had managed to have actual women in the film who actually get to say something, but the film doesn’t bother to include more than a handful of sentences spoken by women, all of which are ultimately inconsequential to the story. Apart from that, I really did enjoy the film, even if I don’t feel like I need to see it again.

Summarizing: not bad at all, but not absolutely great.

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