The natural way to understand what we do not, is to seek the truth, the facts.
When we come across a magic trick, we are momentarily fascinated and after the “magic” wears of, we wonder how it is that we have been tricked.
Over the years, some magicians have been brave enough to come forward and reveal a few secrets at the risk of being barred from their secret society.
It is when we learn how a trick is done, that some of the magic wears of.
Science is behind everything. Every single trick is explained by laws of physics.
The same is when we come across ghost stories. They sound fascinating, they evoke fear in us, yet we crave to know if they are really true. If someone with credentials, manages to debunk a supposed ghostly incident, we wonder if ghosts do truly exist.
Ghost Stories is what I would call a psychological drama. Yes, some horror elements are inserted into the storyline but by the end of the movie, all of it seems pointless and not entirely plausible.
The protagonist Professor Goodman, insists that we see what we want to see, what is buried deep in our neurosis. He had a very religious and superstitious father, and when he grows up, he is influenced by a paranormal investigator and becomes a debunker.
When his hero, the paranormal investigator, contacts him, Goodman goes to meet him and there he is handed three cases that have never been solved.
Certain of his abilities, he sets about to investigate and give logical reasoning behind the supposed hauntings.
The first is a watchman who is wracked with guilt for not visiting his daughter who is paralyzed and can barely speak. One night at work, he is haunted by a little girl. The professor deduces that he didn’t really see the girl but that his own guilt manifested into the girl.
The second case is of a teenager who is constantly nagged by his parents. He narrates his incident where one night, while stealing away in his parents’ car, he runs over a demon in the woods. The professor investigates the area and realizes the teenager imagined a fallen tree trunk to be a demon.
The third case is of an extremely busy businessman who tells the professor of a haunting in his own home by a poltergeist- apparently his dead wife. They were expecting a baby and supposedly the wife died while giving birth.
It is in the vast fields, that the professor also sees a hooded man.
At the end of the businessman’s recount, he pulls the shotgun on him and kills himself much to the professor’s shock.
From here onward, everything becomes jumbled and the paranormal investigator pulls away his skin to reveal the businessman’s face who leads him down an empty tunnel. There, Goodman meets the hooded man again who reveals a grotesque face and pushes him down on a hospital bed.
The scene cuts away and it is revealed that the professor is in a comatose state, locked-in syndrome just like the daughter in the first story. The businessman is his doctor, the teenager an intern or nurse and the watchman is a janitor.
Professor Goodman apparently tried to kill himself by suffocation in the car but lives. Is it because of his hard bearing father, his bullies who forbade him from telling the mentally challenged classmate of the trick in the tunnel?
We are made to believe that it is his guilt of not helping the disabled classmate that causes him to lose it and dream of these things.
When the climax hits, the first reaction is “huh?”
Yes, the faceless doll is there, the people are there that he sees in another role in his dreams.
But what do we make of the cases?
Why does he feel that his childhood hero would be disappointed him and challenge his beliefs in ghosts? Why does he dream of such elaborate stories? Which stories belong to the other characters and which of them had parts of Goodman himself?
Unfortunately, it feels like a cheat, like a story that tries too hard to provide a plot twist. Yes, you don’t see it coming, only because it doesn’t logically fit into the movie.
Goodman exposes psychics, so where did the ghost stories come from?
There are too many questions that receive no answers, only utter confusion.
As for the stories themselves, they were nice but not overly creepy.
Scare scale: 2/5