A mother of two who inherits a house is confronted with murderous intruders on the first night in their new home and fights for her daughters' lives. Sixteen years later when the daughters reunite at the house, things get really strange.
Confidently carves a unique path to the top of a tried and tested genre.
'Ghost Stories (2018)' unravels itself remarkably well, with layer by unexpected-yet-sensical layer peeling away in the flick's fantastically frenzied and freaky finale. Expert foreshadowing, symbolism and general excellence in design compounds these final few reveals as ones totally intrinsic to a narrative that's been heading in one inevitable, incredibly dark direction since its immediately unsettling first frame. It's also this 'trippy', twisty final third that elevates the picture from simply a competent yet straightforward entry into a tried-and-tested genre to one that confidently carves its own path through that genre and, in that same move, rises to the top to sit among the very best. The feature works supremely well as a whole and actually gets better the longer you think about it, inversely to most movies nowadays, with every single second adding to the overall effect. Each theme, motif and slice of subtext comes together pretty much perfectly right up until the final frame. The ending itself enhances the experience tenfold, changing and reshaping the entire affair into something wholly separate from what you thought and yet totally cohesive with the initial intent, in a way not usually associated with this type of film, in which the ending usually leaves a sour taste or at least has to be excused in some way. You can reflect on any one moment and have it fit with your new perspective, and new plot information, like a glove, fed with fantastic visual references and narrative details evocative of an incredibly detail oriented screenplay and a precisely planned production, to the point where the piece feeds the mind for ages after the credits have rolled. It's a constantly evolving experience that provides the frights in the moment and intelligently turns up the dial in every scene, leaving you with bated breath until it finally lets you in on its secrets. Then, that's when the fun really begins. You'll be thinking about it for ages, fitting the pieces together as the film unfolds and after it has finished, and the fact that nothing falls out of place or that nothing is missing is impressive, to say the least, and the amount of detail that ties in so successfully is, frankly, exhilarating. The flick ends up being not only a truly exciting highlight of the year but also of the entire genre. Phenomenal filmmaking; don't miss this one. 8/10
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