Things that go bump.
Fancy a good scare? This creepy chiller from Andy Nyman and The League of Gentlemen’s Jeremy Dyson more than delivers. Indeed, a sense of prickly unease runs all the way through Ghost Stories, which takes the form of one those portmanteau horror films turned out by Amicus and Hammer in the 1960s and 70s, such as Dr Terror’s House of Horrors.
Co-writer/director Nyman plays the smug protagonist, a professional sceptic who goes around debunking belief in the supernatural. But he gets the fright of his life when he looks into three ghostly cases – one featuring night watchman Paul Whitehouse and a dank, deserted warehouse; the second, jittery teenager Alex Lawther and a car journey through a fog-bound wood; and the third, smarmy City trader Martin Freeman and a poltergeist-haunted nursery.
Based on Nyman and Dyson’s spine-tingling stage play, the film links these stories with cunning craft and lots of sly humour. Be warned, though. The laughs catch in the throat.
Certificate 15. Runtime 98 mins. Directors Andy Nyman, Jeremy Dyson
A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.
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