For several years Professor Phillip Goodman has been dedicated to debunk scammers claiming to be psychics and to expose supposed supernatural incidents. One day Professor Goodman is contacted by a renown psychologist and paranormal investigator called Charles Cameron, who has been missing for decades and also inspired Goodman to choose his profession. Cameron, now very old and sick, ask Goodman to investigate three cases that even he can’t explain and that has caused him to questions his own life’s work.
At first Goodman believes that there is nothing in the cases that he can’t explain with science and logic. but as he keeps interviewing the people involved, the professor starts to believe there is something odd behind their stories… Could it be that their madness is contagious? Or maybe… Just maybe, their stories are true? And what about the shadow that he keeps seeing in the corner of his eye?
“Ghost Stories” is a very interesting anthology film. Even when the stories are very different from each other, and the tone can feel uneven, I think they work very well together, each one of the segments managing to create a very tense atmosphere on their own. The first story could be considered a slow burn, where a night watchman shares the events of a very particular night in the abandoned asylum where he worked. This is the segment where we need to be very patient, but at the end it pays very well and sets the tone for the following stories.
The second story, which has a faster pace, concerns about a young man that after lying about his driving test and taking his dad’s car for more time that he was supposed to, has a very unusual encounter on his trip back home. This segment has some funny elements, but also have several moments that will make some people jump in their seats and even shiver.
On the third segment we meet a successful financier that recently tried with his wife to have his first child, unfortunately someone (or something) in the house does not like the idea of the family expanding and decides to let the future parents know. This is the segment that felt shorter for me, but at the same time was the one that made me more anxious and threw me off when it ended. Loved it.
Overall the film has a very fast pace, it has also great acting and although there are not a lot of special effects, the ones we see on the screen are very good. I want to point out how well the film looks: we can clearly see what is going on all the time (No Drunken Shaky Camera!) and we can even enjoy the landscapes that at times also become an important element to create the tension that the segment requires, and allow us (if we pay attention) to see that every interview done by Professor Goodman could be linked to his own life.
In conclusion: I am a very big fan of anthologies, but most of the time we get films where at most, a couple of the stories are decent, one is excellent and the rest of them are mostly fillers. “Ghost Stories” is one of the rare cases where I liked all the segments, even the usual linking story. The film might not scare the more experimented fans of the horror genre, but still has a lot of things to make it memorable, therefore I recommend it
“Ghost Stories” is based on the stage play of the same name written by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson, the film adaptation was also written and directed by them. Nyman repeats his stage performance as Goodman on the film. The cast also includes the talents of Alex Lawter (Black Mirror, The End Of The F-ing World), Paul Whitehouse (The Death Of Stalin) and Martin Freeman (BBC’s Sherlock, The World’s End)
The film will be released via IFC Midnight on select New York theaters and Cable VOD on April 20th, 2018. Los Angeles will a have theater starting April 27, 2018 .