25 September 2023

Ghost Stories

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Reviewed by Victor Rebikoff.

Director: Jeremy Dyson & Andy Nyman, Lionsgate, M 98 Mins.

This rendition of another ghost story movie is at times painful to watch including the presentation of ghosts when in fact they appear as fanciful figments of imagination in the minds of the main characters.

Such is the case in this supposedly ghostly drama from debut directors Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman (‘The Commuter’) having adapted their successful stage production to the screen with Nyman playing the lead role as supernatural sceptic Philip Goodman.

Noted for hosting TV’s “Psychic Cheats” show Goodman is one day called to the caravan of missing fellow sceptic Charles Cameron (Leonard Byrne) where he is asked to investigate and disprove three strange cases of psychic phenomena.

In the first incident Goodman interviews Tony Matthews (Paul Whitehouse –‘Mortdecai’) a former night watchman at an insane asylum where he has a frightful encounter with a ghoulish girl in a yellow dress who besides embracing him calls him “dada’.

The second involves disturbed teenager Simon Rifkind (Alex Lawther –‘Freak Show’) in which he recounts driving his parents’ car down a dark road when he suddenly hits a strange creature which stalks him until he escapes into the forest.

The third and most mystifying is that of businessman Mike Priddle (Martin Freeman –‘The Hobbit’ franchise) telling Goodman of his encounter with a paranormal phenomenon in his home during his wife’s hospitalisation before blowing off his head with a shotgun.

It is only later when Goodman confronts Cameron on his investigation of the three stories that the real identity of both men is revealed that ultimately leads to a ludicrous conclusion.

In attempting to transform their stage play into an entertaining horror production, Dyson and Nyman have demonstrated a lack of experience in the directing department, which is made somewhat worse by a confusing storyline.

Except for the enjoyable performance of ‘Sherlock’ actor Freeman, the rest of the leading cast members perform poorly in their roles, not to mention the dismal performance of Nyman himself.

Vic’s Verdict: 2 Stars

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