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Ghost Stories


Stars: Andy Nyman, Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse, Jill Halfpenny, Derren Brown, Paul Warren, Nicholas Burns, Alex Lawther

Director: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman

While conceding that logic is hardly to be expected in a chiller, this adaptation of the directors' successful stage play makes absolutely no sense at all outside of its three main stories.

Nyman himself plays the central character, one Professor Philip Goodman, who makes a living debunking psychic charlatans, and disproving 'supernatural happenings'.

Dr Cameron (Leonard Byrne), who followed a similar career course, has disappeared, but two weeks later invites Goodman to an address that turns out to be a mobile home. Now greatly decrepit, the doctor challenges Goodman to investigate the 'facts' in three cases of alleged paranormal happenings.

The first of these, involving nightwatchman Tony Matthews (Whitehouse) is easily the scariest, as the hapless Matthews hunts down strange sounds at an old premises where lights keep going out.

In the second story, teenage nerd Simon Rifkind (Lawther) is beset by woodland demons, while in the third Mike Priddle (Freeman) encounters evil in his own home, as his wife undergoes a bizarre labour in hospital.

As far as scares go, it's downhill after the first story, and the wildly unlikely developments at the end, while attempting to be ingenious, are well nigh incomprehensible. The old hit Monster Mash plays over the end credits, but there's no monster smash here.

David Quinlan

UK 2017. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Colour (unspecified).
97 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 05 Apr 2018