After suspecting that their police officer neighbor is a serial killer, a group of teenage friends spend their summer spying on him and gathering evidence, but as they get closer to discovering the truth, things get dangerous.
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.
Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.
A young man and his three younger siblings, who have kept secret the death of their beloved mother in order to remain together, are plagued by a sinister presence in the sprawling manor in which they live.
Sergio G. Sánchez
Two upper-class teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. Together, they hatch a plan to solve both of their problems-no matter what the cost.
The cinematic equivalent of an insecure magician begging to be admired
A strange one this and its complex to explain why it doesn't quite work. When it comes to british writing, I personally admire the likes of Armando Iannucci, Chris Morris, Peter Baynham, Gervais/Merchant, Simon Pegg/Edgar Wright, or Charlie Brooker - substance, satire and sharp wit, which the latter few can also deliver in a way that can also be extremely suspenseful and/or horrific (Black Mirror). Either way, its substantial, stimulating and entertaining. Then there's Jeremy Dyson and the League of Gentlemen - which can be witty and clever, but as with Pemberton/Sheersmith's Inside No 9, sometimes veers into clever-cleverness that often cancels out any substance it builds with annoyingly unnecessary twists (e.g the Apocalypse film which was a bit insufferable). Similarly, Andy Nymans writing for Derren Brown (particularly the live shows) often suffers the same fate - the purity of an effect is buried with endless climaxes until Derren is practically on his knees squealing "but that's not all! It gets even cleverer! Love me!"
Ghost Stories starts OK - a nice vibe about beliefs, debunking and all that good stuff. Then some routine, familiar spooky nonsense (where Alex Lawther has an absolute stand-out performance that will distract you into wishing the whole film was about his character). Then it convolutes its twists over and over until it dissipates into nothing, and is about nothing. The writers were clearly impressed by The Usual Suspects, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Shutter Island and a bunch of other movies, and it feels like they're more interested in imitating to be impressive for the sake of their egos rather than delivering something substantial and memorable. Yes its clever, yes its technically proficient and well crafted, but boy does it revel and wallow in its slavery to being twisty. It really is like sitting through a long, annoying card trick where half way through you realise its all about them wanting to be praised. I felt more like I'd had my patience and high expectations used against me in a cheap trick, rather than been delivered a 'state of wonder'. The central character (played by Nyman) just isn't interesting or engaging enough to care about. Its good, and watchable, but a bit irritating once it all starts to unravel.
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