Two generations of men find themselves haunted by the presence of a spectral woman. When the son of one of the elderly men returns to his hometown after his brother's mysterious death, they attempt to unravel her story.
Four successful elderly gentlemen, members of the Chowder Society, share a gruesome, 50-year old secret. When one of Edward Wanderley's twin sons dies in a bizarre accident, the group begins to see a pattern of frightening events developing.Written by
Jeanne Armintrout <email@example.com>
When this film was first released, it was greeted with a sense of disappointment. Many felt it did not do Peter Straub's source novel justice.
I thought this was an unfair judgement at the time, and watching the film again today confirms this belief. "Ghost Story" does not attempt to emulate the complexity of Straub's epic tale : that would have been impossible. But it does distil the essence of that story - four ageing men haunted by a terrible tragedy from their youth - and puts it on screen with chilly precision.
With some masterly photography and a recurring motif of running water (most dramatically in the truly scary bathtub scene), Irvin imbues the film with a real chill of the grave feel. The ending, as Alma descends the staircase of her decaying house in her wedding dress, isn't a gorefest : there are no elaborate effects or dramatic battles between good and evil. But it is subtly terrifying nonetheless.
Just about all the IMdB reviews, good or bad, have praised Alice Krige's performance. For such a young actress, she's simply stunning. It's a brave, brilliant portrayal. A feminist reading of the film could argue that the real horror lies in the inability of men (and especially the callow youngsters featured in the 20s flashback) to cope with a powerful, sexually-assertive woman.
This is a clever, stylish film which lends itself to differing interpretations. It creates more elegant frissons of fear than almost any other 80s horror film.
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