Sadly I missed out on seeing Ghost Stories on stage when it played in London’s West End a few years ago. By all accounts it was a hugely enjoyable and genuinely scary experience, which I would have loved!
The movie version is written by the guys behind the stage show. Jeremy Dyson (co-creator and writer of the brilliant ‘League of Gentlemen’ shows) and Andy Nyman (co-writer of some of Derren Brown’s TV and stage shows), so if you’re familiar with any of their work then you’ll have an idea what you’re in for.
Nyman also stars in the movie as cynical Philip Goodman, host of ‘Psychic Cheats’ – a TV show which sets out to debunk the con-men who prey on vulnerable people who are grieving for their lost loved ones. Goodman is now investigating three ‘unexplained’ cases, stories involving three men (Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther and Martin Freeman) who have all been deeply affected by an unexplained supernatural experience in their past. Nyman meets with each of them in turn, and they then recount their stories for us to enjoy.
The stories themselves work extremely well. The whole movie is set in a even drearier than usual England, and this dark and depressing setting only adds to the tension that gradually builds as each story unfolds. While the stories themselves aren’t too scary, good use of sound and camera work really help to make things pretty unsettling and creepy. There are some obligatory jump scares along the way, and even some laugh out loud moments too.
Outside of the stories being told, strange things begin happening to too. This all builds to a bit of a WTF?! moment, which then begins unraveling nicely, piecing together parts of the movie and building to a very satisfying and enjoyable ending.