(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Series: Ghost Stories (clips)
Where You Can Stream It: YouTube
The Pitch: In 2000, the children’s horror anime series Ghost Stories flopped in Japan. It was a series meant to capitalize on the growing J-horror phenomenon at the time, with films like Ringu and Ju-On, by introducing younger audiences to Japanese ghostly folklore through a kiddish anime show. So when it failed, its studio Animax shipped it over to American dub studio ADV Films, the studio behind classic dubs like Neon Genesis Evangelion, with only three conditions: don’t change the character names, don’t change the way the ghosts are killed, and don’t change the core meaning of each episode. Otherwise, ADV was given free rein. And boy, did they take it.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: I think I need to preface this by saying I didn’t seek out these clips of the Ghost Stories dub. I stumbled on them, as we’re probably all meant to do, during a feverish trip down crackhead anime YouTube, the algorithm rabbit hole that sends you to the weird part of the website after you click on a few too many “I took an arrow to the knee” meme videos (I have also never played Skyrim). But after I lazily watched one Ghost Stories clip, thinking it was just some old rip of an “Abridged” anime series (fan-created parodies of popular shows like Dragon Ball Z and Yu-Gi-Oh! that took off in the early 2000s), I was baffled to discover that this was, in fact, the officially licensed dub. And down the rabbit hole I went.
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(Welcome to Scariest Scene Ever, a column dedicated to the most pulse-pounding moments in horror. In this edition: Ghost Stories used sound and shadow to build up unrelenting tension for this utterly terrifying scene.)
Few things frighten and fascinate as well as a good ghost story. The supernatural taps into fears of the unknown, but it more directly ties into the concept of an afterlife. Nothing inspires obsession and conversation quite like death and beyond. An “existential terror,” Ghost Stories’ Charles Cameron (Leonard Byrne) explains why ghosts are such a draw for many. In the film based on the 2010 stage play of the same name, it’s existential terror and the pursuit of disproving supernatural phenomena that drives the narrative forward in this unique spin on the anthology format.
Directors Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson waste no time plummeting everyone into the deep end of fear, creating separate vignettes that work to build momentum in both narrative and scares. It’s the first that sets the high bar, creating a disconcerting atmosphere that systematically ramps up the tension at a steady pace then yanks the rug out from under once dread reaches a fever pitch. It results in a nerve-fraying scene that brings maximum chills.
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(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)
Welcome, streamers! I have some good news: Halloween is less than a week away! If you’re like me, you like to spend October watching as many creepy, weird, strange movies as you possibly can. As we close out the month, I’ve compiled a list of horror and horror-like films for your Halloween season pleasure. These aren’t the typical horror films – The Exorcist or The Shining don’t appear here, sorry. Instead, I’ve tried to bring you titles outside the norm, ready for you to stream whenever you want. Happy Halloween!
These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming!
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What a time to be alive, horror fans. This blessed year of 2018 is bursting at Oogie Boogie’s seams with goodies month after month (A Quiet Place right now, Hereditary to come), the latest of which is set to have y’all tripping something fierce in honor of 4/20.
The title? Ghost Stories, written, directed and adapted by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman based on their own West End play. It is, quite astonishingly, a cerebral headtrip that dances a fine line between cinema and stage. Two deceptively similar mediums that are also so remarkably different come together in a way that lays nasty little tricks of the mind with intent to thrill. Which it does…handily and confidently.
That’s just one of the many reasons we’re honored to debut this new exclusive clip for IFC Midnight’s Ghost Stories.
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Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s remarkably ambiguous Ghost Stories is unconventional, structurally bonkers and bloody-freakin’-brilliant. As an adaptation of their widely-popular West End theater fixture, both men translate stage cues to fainthearted filmmaking in ways that never feel stuffy or overproduced (something like Miss Julie). Tear-away backgrounds that connect wholly different locations are just as astounding cinematic tricks as they’d be in person if only to ensure this daring blend of dread and inquisition be that much more an unsolvable puzzle. How do you get away with crafting a successfully sublime “Whothunkit” about the unknown? I don’t know – ask Ghost Stories. Read More »
Posted on Monday, October 30th, 2017 by Jacob Hall
From the ’60s output of Hammer and Amicus to Danny Boyle’s reinvention of the zombie genre with 28 Days Later, the United Kingdom has always been a dependable source of thrills and chills. There’s just something special about horror movies with an English accent. Now, a new movie called Ghost Stories looks to add its name to the nation’s line-up of must-see genre movies and all of the right pieces seem to be here: creepy stories, a wry tone, and the presence of strong actors like Martin Freeman to lend credibility to the whole thing. Oh, and it’s a horror anthology telling three (seemingly!) unrelated tales, so toss some bonus points its way for that.
The first Ghost Stories trailer has arrived…well, actually the first three Ghost Stories trailers have arrived, teasing the film’s three narratives, and you can watch them now.
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