2018 has proven to be a year for exceptional horror and thriller films, the most recently notable being A Quiet Place. And though this film was wonderful, it pains me that Ghost Stories was horrendously overshadowed by it — don’t be fooled by the 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Ghost Stories, a British horror film, follows Professor Philip Goodman as he endeavors to debunk three unsolvable paranormal cases. The film is currently being shown in limited theaters across the U.S., but here are three major points explaining why you should absolutely find nearest theater to see it.
Suspense and pacing. American filmgoers have gotten used to faster-paced movies that begin scaring them right away. We don’t like to wait for the action, it’s just part of our culture. Because Ghost Stories doesn’t have to adhere to that guideline, it has a different feeling from the start; the plot revolves around three paranormal cases that are broken down in different segments of the film, giving it a unique structure. This structure draws the suspense throughout the film, with a few jump scares dispersed throughout. The downside to this is that it feels slow at times, especially because the suspense element is subtler than you’d see in other movies of this genre. However, the pace of the movie works well with the intricate plot that deepens with each scene, so if you’re a fan of psychological horror this is the film for you.
Character development and use. One of the biggest factors in a hit film is creating characters that are relatable and believable. If you’re watching a B-horror movie, you’re bound to comment on the character portrayal and acting, right? Ghost Stories brings a grade-A cast featuring British actors like Martin Freeman, Andy Nyman, Paul Whitehouse and Alex Lawther to make exceptional characters come to life. Each character is unique and/or quirky enough to be creepy and questionable while still holding a level of human relatability that glues the viewers’ eyes to the screen. And because of the pseudo-anthology structure of the film, these characters are given enough development to stand alone as well as intertwine with the overlaying plot. The cohesiveness of all the intricacies in the film’s writing is downright impressive.
Taking an overused trope and making it unique. Looking back on it now, the twist of the film should have seen blatantly obvious – especially because it is a trope that is far overused across fictional genres. But the elements stated above work so damn well at distracting the viewer and drawing them into the individual plots that it is easy to miss signs pointing to the inevitable plot twist. What’s more is that even after the twist was revealed it was still kept aloof for a few minutes, dragging out a sense of confusion and suspense. It not only brought everything together but also left viewers downright flabbergasted. Above all else, the ending of this movie is the best reason to put cross it off your 2018 film list.
As stated before, Ghost Stories only has a limited run in the U.S., so hop over to Fandango and find the closest showing to you! Comment below or reach out to me on Twitter to let me know how you liked the film!