Arch skeptic Professor Phillip Goodman embarks upon a terror-filled quest when he stumbles across a long-lost file containing details of three cases of inexplicable ‘hauntings’.
Adapted from their own stage play for cinemas, Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s ‘Ghost Stories’ is a collection of three spine tingling tales about the supernatural, seen through the eyes of Nyman’s professional sceptic, Phillip Goodman. In a fourth wall breaking intro, Goodman explains to the audience that he investigates and debunks various claims of supernatural activity, whether it be ghostly sightings or lying psychics who claim to be in touch with the dead. When an older (and presumed dead or at least retired) sceptic gets in touch with Goodman with three cases he was unable to debunk, Goodman sets out to succeed where he failed, setting the main thrust of the plot in motion.
As Goodman encounters the three spooked men (Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther and Martin Freeman) and we hear their tales, several things happen that start to challenge his mindset and his own sanity. The segments are reasonably well directed, throwing in a few jump scares alongside the believable performances, but I did struggle to get invested in the overarching story tying the individual stories together. I think part of that is because I didn’t think the central conceit was as clever as it thinks it is and I never really bought the twists and turns that are thrown at the screen. In many respects I found the plotting to be more silly than scary and it had completely lost me once it started wrapping the story up.
I’m certainly in the minority with that view (97% on Rotten Tomatoes as we speak) and perhaps genre fans will find much to enjoy in ‘Ghost Stories’, but I was left cold by this horror anthology.
Directed By: Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson
Starring: Andy Nyman, Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther, Nicholas Burns and Jill Halfpenny