This adaptation of a popular British stage play is a three-pronged portmanteau horror fable about a parapsychologist who debunks supposed supernatural experiences and who is tasked to investigate a trio of unresolved cases. Playwrights-turned-directors Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman helm their own transition from the West End to the screen, and the result is a decent ride that upends some genre tropes, while simultaneously falling victim to formula. The stories don’t quite work as a cohesive compendium, nor do they deliver any particularly creepy chills that seasoned horror fans haven’t already seen countless times before. However, Ghost Stories does satisfyingly deal with themes of grief, guilt and trauma, and functions as a playful ode to anthology horror. Moreover, the narrative gets turned on its head in a surreally glorious final act. It’s just too bad the fiendish twists don’t arrive sooner, as you might find your emotional investment lacking by the time they hit. Still, with (the far superior) A Quiet Place already in cinemas and the upcoming Hereditary set to delight fans of a good spine-tingle, Ghost Stories adds to the sense that 2018 is shaping up to be another banner year for horror.
Ghost Stories | Directed by Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman (UK, 2018), with Andy Nyman, Paul Whitehouse, Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther. Starts April 19.
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