Thursday, October 25, 2018

31 Days of Halloween - Day 25 - Movie 2

Ghosts Stories (2018) is also a portmanteau film with three stories surrounded by a wraparound tale that connects them. In this case the wraparound ends up being the most significant story and not simply something to link the other tales. Philip Goodman (Andy Nyman) is a man dedicated to exposing fraudulent psychics. The man who inspired him tasks him with solving three unsolved cases, which are the three tales making up the rest of the movie; a night watchman has a really bad night; a young man hits something unexplainable with his car; and a businessman finds his home plagued by inexplicable phenomena while his wife is going through a difficult childbirth at the hospital.

The film is based on the hit stage play by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson (who also wrote and directed this adaptation), which I've only heard and read extraordinary things about. The film is really well done and knows when to hold back and when to let loose. It has it's share of jump scares, but the really unsettling bits come in the form of the nearly mundane. Like other portmanteau films, the short films within don't always come to an actual resolution, just building to a climax that leaves the rest of the story unresolved. In Ghost Stories we learn that those loose ends are intentional as the wrap around story has plenty more to say about the big picture that those short stories are simply parts of. Even so, the writer in my finds it frustrating when the stories in an anthology are incomplete in themselves. I do appreciate the effort to not only incorporate the shorts into the wraparound story, and the fact that the wraparound story was the story and not just some hastily and lazily conceived time filler that tries to convey to the viewer that they just watched a feature film and not simply a bunch of random short films one after another. Ghost Stories was not as great as I wanted to be, but it will definitely be rewatched by me, and I suspect that over time my fondness for it will grow.

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