Friday, 6 October 2017

Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories is a nice, on-the-nose title for a film, is it not? This particular British portmanteau film was adapted by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson from the hit stage show of the same name. There's a very good, detailed review here in the Guardian.
It’s not a film that wants to be subtle – and, as I say, its unsubtler flourishes and jump scares may have been more potent in the theatre, like outrageously startling but cleverly managed stage illusions. But there’s a tremendous atmosphere to this picture, a dream-like oddness and offness to everything. Nyman and Dyson have created a weird world of menace, despair and decay.

All good fun, then. And impressive that they've got hot property Martin Freeman as one of the leads. I look forward to this, as Jeremy Dyson is a huge fan of classic horror movies, as he explains here.
This was one genre in particular that we in this country seemed to do well. A disproportionate number of the finest examples of the supernatural horror film were British productions (although sometimes, as in the case of The Haunting and Night of the Demon, with American directors). This expertise accords with the written ghost story, many of whose finest exponents have been British, too. Maybe it’s something to do with our climate - fog and rain and long winter nights are effective stimulants to the fantastic imagination.


Oscar Solis said...

"This was one genre in particular that we in this country seemed to do well."

Talk about an understatement. Your country is probably the best at ghost stories. We have our moments here in the US (actually, a fair amount) but ghost stories that come from the British Isles have something to them, that undefinable thing that just works. We have Poe, Lovecraft, James but you have M.R. James, Benson, Aickman, Machen.

Maybe it's the land, the history, the atmosphere but whatever it is, it permeates the best stories like nothing else. For us here, the closest may be those stories that are set in the east, that place where puritan ideals met the new land.

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