I have to admit that I had a twinge of excitement at the prospect of watching Ghost Stories, purely based on the fact that it was co-written and co-directed by Jeremy Dyson; a man most known as the silent (or should I say less prominent) member of The League of Gentleman comedy team. Whilst this movie is far from the comedy field that is usually associated with Dyson, my confidence in his writing ability had me dead-set eager to see what he would come up with in the horror genre.
Teaming up with his writing and directing partner, Andy Nyman, (who also stars in the movie as paranormal skeptic Professor Goodman) the duo adapt their successful play for the cinema, focusing on three stories or tales if you will bent towards the unknown.
Each tale leads Goodman into the dark recesses of the unexplained and into a world that challenges his own psyche.
It starts with a night watchman played by another comedy veteran Paul Whitehouse (The Fast Show) who claims to have seen a spirit at the warehouse in which he worked.
Goodman then visits a boy (Simon Rifkin) who happens to be obsessed with the cult. His claim is that he ran over the devil whilst driving in the woods.
The last tale comes from a highly successful businessman (Martin Freeman) who swears that his house was possessed by a poltergeist, and that he received a visitation from his wife the night before she gave birth to an inhuman child in hospital.
Goodman’s rabbit warren of illusions and devilry ultimately transcends into an untapped space that unravels before his eyes that force him to face up to his past and potential future.
You can tell that both Nyman and Dyson have honed their craft and weave the various storylines together using their gifted talents to create a well-received narrative. Ghost Stories does rely on a few jump scares and can be a little predictable in places, but the end result is rewarding with some strong performances all round.
- Saul Muerte