Wednesday, October 17, 2018

GHOST STORIES (2017) Blu-ray review

Ghost Stories (2017) d. Jeremy Dyson / Andy Nyman (UK) (1st viewing) (98 min)

Based upon their hit live show, creators Dyson and Nyman so successfully leave the trappings of the stage behind that folks who have not witnessed it firsthand (such as your humble narrator) are left wondering, “How would they have done that onstage?” Taking the classic anthology approach, we are introduced to Nyman’s character, Professor Goodman (is he or isn’t he), a professional debunker of the supernatural and unexplained, who is contacted by another of his trade to investigate three unusual cases: 1) a night watchman (Paul Whitehouse) who is visited on the job by a strange figure, 2) a young man (Alex Lawther) whose late-night drive home takes a hard right turn into darkness, and 3) a well-to-do businessman (Martin Freeman) wrestling with poltergeists in the wake of his wife’s pregnancy.

All three stories deliver substantial build-up of tension and satisfying, scream-fueled release, aided immeasurably by top-flight performances from all concerned. The source material’s theatrics are definitely alluded to, with onscreen magic tricks and hidden identities adding to the fun. It’s smart and it’s clever and, most importantly, it delivers the chills promised by the title – one can imagine sitting around a candlelit drawing room, hearing the narrative gravely intoned, complete with a large “BOO!” somewhere in the midst of each tale. Good stuff.

Ghost Stories is available now from Shout! Factory and IFC Midnight on a no-frills Blu-ray or DVD and can be ordered HERE:


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