Tagline: The brain sees what it wants to see.
In 1979, Phillip Goodman’s strict Jewish father threw his sister out of the family for dating an Asian man. As an adult, Goodman is lonely and single. He is also a well-known professor who specialises in debunking fraudulent psychics on his television programme, regarding it as his life’s work to stop people’s lives being ruined by superstition the way his family’s were. He receives an invitation to visit a famed 1970s paranormal investigator who inspired him as a boy, but who has been missing for decades and is now living, sick and in poverty, in a caravan. The old man asks him to investigate three incidents of supposedly real supernatural ghost sightings.
The first case is a night watchman, whose wife has died of cancer and who is guilty that he had stopped visiting his daughter who suffers from locked-in syndrome. He was haunted by the spirit of a young girl whilst working in an old women’s asylum. The second is a teenager, obsessed with the occult and enduring a poor relationship with his parents, whose car breaks down after running over the Devil in the woods. Goodman, although unsettled by the second case, believes that each of these cases has an obvious rational explanation in the neuroses of the supposed victims. The third case is a City financier who was plagued by a poltergeist whilst awaiting the birth of his child. His wife then died giving birth to an (it is implied) inhuman child. The financier commits suicide with a shotgun whilst talking to Goodman.
Goodman returns to the 1970s investigator, who tears off his face (actually a latex mask), revealing himself to be the financier. Goodman believes that he is the victim of an elaborate hoax, but at this point reality breaks down altogether. The businessman leads Goodman back in time to the scene of a childhood incident where he watched two bullies entice a mentally handicapped boy into a drain, where he died of an asthma attack. Goodman has felt guilty all his life about his failure to rescue the victim. The decaying corpse of the bullied boy appears, tormenting Goodman and eventually leading him to a hospital bed, where he forces him to lie down, lies on top of him and forces his finger into his mouth. Goodman has been begging “no, not again”, implying this to be a recurring event.
Ghost Stories is a 2017 British horror film co-directed by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson, adapted from their stage play. It stars Nyman reprising his role from the play, with Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther and Martin Freeman in supporting roles. The film premiered at the London Film Festival on October 7, 2017, was released in the United Kingdom on April 6, 2018 by Lionsgate, and is scheduled to be released on April 20, 2018 in the United States by IFC Midnight.
Ghost Stories (2018)
Directed by: Andy Nyman, Jeremy Dyson
Starring: Andy Nyman, Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse. Alex Lawther, Paul Warren, Nicholas Burns, Lesley Harcourt, Amy Doyle, Deborah Wastell, Daniel Hill, Christine Dalby, Maggie McCarthy
Screenplay by: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
Production Design by: Grant Montgomery
Cinematography by: Ole Bratt Birkeland
Film Editing by: Billy Sneddon
Costume Design by: Matthew Price
Set Decoration by: Dan Jackson. Mason White
Art Direction by: Pilar Foy, Kerry Ellen Maxwell
Music by: Haim Frank Ilfman
Distributed by: Lionsgate Films (United Kingdom), IFC Midnight (United States)
Release Date: April 6, 2018 (United Kingdom), April 20, 2018 (United States)