I defy you to try to make sense of Ghost Stories.
The central character is Professor Philip Goodman (Andy Nyman), a renowned sceptic. Most unexpectedly, his idol, psychologist Charles Cameron – who had mysteriously disappeared – sends Goodman a message that he wants to see him. When Goodman rocks up, a curmudgeonly Cameron reveals he has been in hiding since realising his own arrogance in trying to rationalise the spirit world. Accusing Goodman of the same disrespect he presents him with three case histories to solve.
A night watchman is haunted on the job. A troubled young man is confronted when his car breaks down in the forest. A city trader (Martin Freeman) is disturbed by strange goings on as he awaits the birth of his first child. Each baffling case supports the existence of unseen forces; and they take a toll on Goodman.
The stage show Ghost Stories became a West End smash. Self-confessed horror film fanatics Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson wrote and directed the play. Now they’ve written and directed the movie.
Let me just say that I found the whole thing confusing. Sure, there were a number of unexplained events in the three stories. Then the film took a decidedly different turn, but I don’t want to say any more because it would spoil the surprise.
While Goodman is quite a sympathetic character, Ghost Stories is presented as a puzzle and I’m not convinced all the pieces actually fitted together before the credits rolled.
Director: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Cast: Andy Nyman, Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther, Paul Whitehouse
Release Date: 25 October 2018 (limited)
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David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television