Ghost Stories

Film, Horror
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
Ghost Stories

Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s twisty-turny horror adaptation has lost none of its wit or clamminess on the way from the stage to the big screen.

'The Exorcist’ meets ‘The League of Gentlemen’ in a triptych of horror tales that’s presided over with assurance and some seriously mordant wit by playwrights-turned-directors Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman. They’ve given their own stage play a cinematic reboot that’s both faithful and fresh, without sacrificing any of its macabre intimacy. ‘Ghost Stories’ is smart, surprising and recognisably British, right down to the peeling wallpaper, caravans and analogue tech of its sorta-bygone setting. Its world is weirdly familiar and yet alien. It’s also darn scary.

The three storylines’ common denominator is parapsychologist Professor Phillip Goodman (Nyman). In truth, it’s an odd profession for a man whose sole mission is to debunk witnesses to the supernatural. The arrival of a mysterious cassette sends him to meet three victims of ghostly encounters – Paul Whitehouse’s night watchman, Alex Lawther’s nervy teenager, and Martin Freeman’s Scottish financier – and offers harrowing opportunities to change his mind.

Nyman neatly charts Goodman’s arc from condescension to icy terror, but it’s Whitehouse and Freeman who steal the show. The former’s chapter takes place in an abandoned factory guaranteed to haunt your dreams, while Freeman’s is an off-balancing mix of cockiness and menace. If the climax feels a touch clichéd, it barely spoils the ride.

By: Phil de Semlyen


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday April 6 2018
Duration: 98 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Screenwriter: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Cast: Andy Nyman
Martin Freeman
Paul Whitehouse
Alex Lawther

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening

I really enjoyed this. Not all of it works - the second story was a bit of a damp squib and Alex Lawther does far too much 'acting' - he seems to be typecast in 'neurotic' roles. But the overall structure is clever and the inevitable 'twist' is poignant and dramatic, if slightly convoluted. It kept me thinking about it long after I left the cinema - which is always a good sign. 


With a lot of British comedy talent in this film, I was keen to go and see it, especially after hearing that it was not too scary!  It is about a man who does about  debunking paranormal stories, who is then given 3 mysteries that have never been solved and is asked to solve them.  It then shows each of the three stories and he sets about trying to work out what really happened.  

As expected and hoped for, there is a big twist at the end.  I won't tell you what classic film I believe that the ending was a nod to as it would give too much away, but see if you think the end reminds you of another famous film.