5th October 2017 6.00pm at Vue West End
6th October 2017 3.30pm at empire
14th October 2017 8.45pm at Hackney Picturehouse
“Our minds only see what we want to see.” That is certainly the case in Ghost Stories. Co-written as a play and directed by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson, the movie is a thrilling culmination of short stories compiled into an exciting psychological comedic horror pic. Yes, a psychological horror comedy, combining a series of jump scares with a definitive sense of realism and a series of entertaining characters. With twists and turns that provide a genuine roller coaster ride, the filmmakers present a picture that will not only tickle plenty of ribs, but will have viewers crouched behind the sofa at the same time.
The plot follows Professor Phillip Goodman (Nyman), on his continuing path of psychological study and dismantling of spiritual evidence. After filming his latest spiritual medium bust for a documentary, Goodman receives a tape through the post from a childhood icon along with three cases that to this day have remained unexplained. Each case is partnered with a victim, the first being a night watchman (Paul Whitehouse), the second a tormented student (Alex Lawther) and the third a businessman haunted by a demon (Martin Freeman). It is down to Goodman to solve these hauntings and provide explanations for their causes before it is too late.
The film is an exercise in existential terror management. Death is the primary fear for all, and drives the emotions of all characters in the movie. The plot is easy to follow at first, until its complexities are unearthed, but that is the beauty of Ghost Stories. The ease of its observation leads to a more intensified ending, leaving the audience to question the authenticity of what they have witnessed over the last two hours.
The movie maintains a wonderful momentum, keeping viewers on their toes with jump scares and terrific characters to boot. One cannot help but smile when Whitehouse appears on the screen, knowing he can deliver a punch when required, and Alex Lawther continues to demonstrate his lavish palette of acting ability, despite being in the early stages of his career. Martin Freeman comes armed with witty puns and adds to the film’s character, screaming to audiences not to take it entirely seriously, but to enjoy it.
With twists, turns and a series of unexpected events, Ghost Stories has transferred from the stage to the screen with relative ease. The chance to incorporate visual effect makes the film a stimulating visual experience, and Nyman and Dyson can be proud of their achievements in making a comedy horror that does not step down the wrong path into stupidity and chaos.
Ghost Stories does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2017 coverage here.
For further information about the festival visit the official BFI website here.