Note: this essay is filled with spoilers right from the beginning. Do not read until you have seen Ghost Stories.
Ghost Stories, directed by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson, is an intensely disturbing horror film that also conjures a sense of ontological horror through its slippery notion of reality. Its portmanteau structure has drawn comparison with Dead of Night and other, more recent horror anthologies, but the overall structure of the film is much closer to Jacob’s Ladder. In both films, it transpires at the end that everything that has constituted the content of the film has in fact been a hallucination, or a final dream before the death of the lead character. Both films can thus be seen as types of psychomachia, a medieval morality play that depicts what happens to a person after death. In Ghost Stories the lead character is named Goodman which reinforces the notion that he is an Everyman figure familiar from the medieval morality plays. Continue reading “Ghost Stories”