Tuesday, October 20, 2020

31 Days of Halloween - Day 20 - Movie

Ghost Stories (2020) is an anthology film from India that consists of four stories directed by four different directors and containing no interlinking narrative device. The first story involves Sameera, a nurse caring for a bedridden old woman who has moments of intense lucidity and possible small precognitive powers. There also appears be a hidden person in the apartment who can be heard shuffling along at night. The second story is about a young boy jealous of his Aunt's unborn baby, while she tries nurturing a nest of birds in her attic. The third story features a young man whose job takes him to a small town in shambles. He comes across two young children who claim that everyone in town has either been eaten, or has eaten the others, and that the eaters are still there. The forth story  is about a new bride who has concerns about her new husband and his family and their staff, when her husband exhibits a strong ongoing relationship with his dead grandmother.

Each of the stories is about half an hour long, and while I am a fan of the slow build, most of these tales were simply slow and could have benefitted from some swifter storytelling. Only two of the stories, the first and the last are really ghosts stories. The first one is really nothing new and provides zero scares, mood, or intensity. The second story has its moments of creepiness when the nephew is coloring, but the nightmare scenes with the aunt are more ridiculous than frightening, and overall its just a bit of a mess. The third story was the best one, and was really riveting. The ending cheapened it a bit, but it had great use of sound, rules for dealing with the threat, one intensely ruthless scene, and gets kudos for taking what looked to be yet another zombie story and not turning out to be a zombie story. The creatures were pretty cool. The last story was just ridiculous. On the plus side Mrunal Thakur is so gorgeous that it made the final half hour tolerable to watch.

If you decide to watch it, Skip to about an hour in and watch the segment directed by Dibakar Banerjee. It's really the only segment you need to watch.

Ghost Stories is streaming on Netflix

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