As a UK script consultant based in lovely Yorkshire, I’m pleased to see the mostly excellent work put in by the team at Screen Yorkshire – they’ve backed some smashing films over the years but Ghost Stories (2017) – is by far my own personal favourite, even if, it doesn’t really work as a film.
I think the fact that it doesn’t really work is what endears me to the film even more. It’s a very good attempt to do something very old fashioned, even ‘classical’. Made by a team that clearly love old fashioned well told tales of terror.
Fans of modern horror, won’t find it scary at all. Indeed, while I loved the atmosphere, the terrific performances and some of the writing, I didn’t really feel any tension whatsoever until towards the end of the film.
The ending is a point of contention for many viewers who feel cheated by it. I didn’t mind the conclusion at all, but the film did feel as if it was building to something mind blowing, and ultimately, my mind wasn’t blown (at all).
However, despite these minor quibbles – I think this is a film that will grow. It’s a film, that in twenty or so years will look a lot better, and be treated with a bit more forgiveness (the way that I can watch every film Lucio Fulci made – even the ones that are clearly rubbish, because there is something there, even in the stinkers…)
So, it’s classic for the future. I’m sure people will discover this.
I also loved spotting the cinematic locations in Saltaire, Hornsea, Harehills and Chapel Allerton. The Hornsea location looked like a place I used to holiday at as a child in the 80s. Coastal erosion has left it looking like death on-sea…
Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He’s also a leading UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on email@example.com or hire him on Peopleperhour