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Ghost Stories (2017) - Blu-ray Review

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Ghost Stories (2017) - Blu-ray

5 beers

It has been a long time since I have genuinely been frightened by a movie.  Seriously.  I mean, certain ones make me jump from time to time, but, damn, Ghost Stories, starring  Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther and Martin Freeman, is one chilling display of spooktacular haunts.  It chilled me to the bone with some of its ghostly expressions.  Before we get into why the film works, we have to travel back into the past, though.

In 1945, a horror movie called Dead of Night was released.  This anthology is remembered because, during the war, the British has put a halt on the production of horror films.  The world was cruel enough, I suppose.  Dead of Night; however, was a different sort of horror film entirely, which is how it probably got greenlit in the first place.  It still has it fans.  I start here by mentioning this circular framed narrative because, Ghost Stories, seems to be leaning quite heavily on the success of Dead of Nights structure to tell a single narrative that is buoyed by three other spectacularly frightening stories. 

"There is a confidence to this creepy tale that should not be underestimated."


 

Ghost Stories, even if it defies logic in its final lap, is quite spellbinding.  Written and directed by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson (and based on their stage play), the film is truly about one man: Professor Phillip Goodman (portrayed by Nyman).  He is a television journalist who goes about exposing fraud psychics.  But when his childhood hero and main inspiration for what he does reaches out to him, he comes running.

It turns out that  paranormal investigator, Charles Cameron has three cases for him to research.  And, man, are they ever whoppers of paranormal shenanigans.  These cases are shot with the creep factor cranked to 11.  One is about a night watchman who avoids visiting his daughter and blames his job for it.  Another is about a teenage boy who sees demons everywhere.  And the final one is about a financer who loses his wife to the birth of a monstrosity.  But, really, we are dealing with the development (or lack thereof) of Goodman.  His response to each of these stories – as they are told to him by those who experience it – drive him closer to the void.  Even we sense it.

And then the rug is pulled from under us.  You won’t see it coming either. 

Ghost Stories (2017) - Blu-ray

There is a confidence to this creepy tale that should not be underestimated.  Maybe it is because Nyman and Dyson have been working the play for so long that the idea of how this film should be shot was easier to envision.  Cinematographer Ole Bratt Birkeland works atmospheric miracles throughout the feature, bringing it to life with a haunting sense that earns the film all sorts of high praise.  Yes, this is one the best British ghost films in a long while, and IFC Midnight alongside Scream Factory is responsible for bringing it to us.

The tension. The shadows. The ghosts.  And every actor knows exactly what kind of movie they are in.  Bonus points; however, are awarded to Freeman, though.  He has a tough job to do and he does with a very clever wink and a nudge of things to come.  There is a brutality to the hauntings, too.  Not that this film is overly bloody.  It’s not, but its expressions of terror are legit.  You won’t be easily shaking this one off for a while.

Ghost Stories will truly haunt you.

Ghost Stories (2017) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
98 mins
Director
: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Writer:
Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Cast:
Andy Nyman, Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse
Genre
: Horror | Drama
Tagline:
The brain sees what it wants to see.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Do you believe in evil, Professor? I didn't, until that night."
Theatrical Distributor:
IFC Midnight
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 11, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 4, 2018
Synopsis: A debunker of all things paranormal, Professor Goodman (Andy Nyman, Black Death) has devoted his life to exposing phony psychics and fraudulent supernatural shenanigans. His skepticism is tested, however, when he receives a case file on three chilling and inexplicable incidents: a night watchman (Paul Whitehouse, Corpse Bride) haunted by disturbing visions as he patrols an abandoned asylum; an edgy young man (Alex Lawther, Freak Show) involved in a hellish car accident deep in the woods; and a wealthy former banker (Martin Freeman, Sherlock, Black Panther) visited by the spirit of his unborn child. Even more disturbing is that each of these macabre stories seems to have a sinister connection to Professor Goodman's own life. Will they make a believer of him yet?

Ghost Stories (2017) - Blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- September 4, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English; Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

In partnership, Scream Factory and IFC Midnight present Ghost Stories with a solid blu-ray release.  The film looks crisp and sounds that way, too, thanks to a rich DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack.  Every groan and scream is heard.  Every heartbeat felt, too.  The film is presented with a 1080p widescreen presentation (2.40:1 aspect ratio) and will rattle your senses with its deep shadows, bold colors, and rich depth.  Space is important here and the screen is filled with open backgrounds that make you feel ANYTHING is possible and everything is as it seems.

Supplements:

Commentary:

• None

Special Features:

None

Ghost Stories (2017) - Blu-ray

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