Ghost Stories (2018)

April 16, 2018

Fearter rating: 8/10

An archetypal British horror with more twists and turns than a murder mystery party at Ricky Martin's house. 


Review (no spoilers)

I went to see this at the cinema, and I'm glad I did! Ghost Stories is an entertaining, clever and spooky film that had me thinking about some big questions at the end of it. Horror films that make you think, and question yourself are few and far between - so I'm glad it did just that. 


If you've read some of my other reviews, you'll know that I jump at everything, and this film made me jump! But it's more than jump scares, there's excruciating suspense, the right level of good humour and an intriguing plot which draws you in keeps you thinking and guessing until the end. 


The acting throughout the film is good with a particular mention to Alex Lawther who does a great job. But for me, the stand out performance was from Paul Whitehouse. Best known to me for the comedy sketch show 'The Fast Show', his acting is brilliant - keeping you on the edge throughout his exploration of the darkness. (It's really difficult to talk about this film without giving anything away!)


Interestingly, I don't recall there being any main female characters? There are a few sort of one-liner type characters, but that's it. I'm not smart enough to know if there's a meta, politico point making reason for that, or if they just didn't write any into the original play.  


The film is well made and definitely has that quality indie British feel about it, where it doesn't look like a Hollywood blockbuster - but it also doesn't look like a cheap film. It's somewhere in the middle - like a TV film but better. And with that in mind, I'm glad I went to the cinema to see it as I don't think it would be anywhere near as scary on TV. It would still be intriguing, tense, thought provoking and attention keeping - but not scary. There's one section which starts off superbly and then goes a bit "drag me to hell", initiating a mental rant about how this is going to get silly. But it didn't go too far - it remained suspenseful and reeled it all back in. 


I really enjoyed this film and would recommend it as a definite watch. However, being the nit picky pessimist that I am - for me the ending could have been better and it could have been scarier. And the film borders on being a bit too clever - that sort of OxBridge drama club, BBC Sherlock Holmes the clues are everywhere type thing. Am i just jealous that I'm not that clever and I didn't write it? You bet I am!



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