NFLX2019 December 31st: Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories. Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap. 2019. ☆☆☆☆☆★

Nooo! The final Netflix Original movie of 2019 is an Indian movie! Nooo!!!

Not that there’s anything wrong with Indian movies. Some of my best friends are Indian movies. It was just not what I was expecting to round off the year.

[time passes]

This is pretty good! It’s kinda scary in a silent, languid way. The acting is spot on (both the caretaker and the patient are great), and the cinematography is classic oldee-tymey scary movie; all claustrophobic in the long halls and empty rooms.

[more time passes]

Oh! It’s an anthology movie! *whew*

The first bit (by Zoya Akhtar) was really good! And interesting. (And scary.) I hope they keep it up for the rest of the segments.

OK, the next one is pretty creepy, too. Good sound design and the actor playing the mother is fabulous.

[time passes]

Wow, that was intense. Anurag Kashyap’s bit was all Rosemary’s Baby tense, and then veered off into Eraserhead body horror. There were some pacing problems, but dude. Well done.

Well, two successful segments down. Up next: Dibakar Banerjee.

OK, after two bits set apartments in cities (and wist a kinda similar vibe), we’re now out on the countryside and things are totes different.

The kid actors here are great, but this isn’t as successful. There’s bits I totally love, like the guy getting totally into the kid’s paranoia at the start. But when it turns out that (SPOILERS) there really is an ironic zombie thing going on, I slightly lost interest. It’s kinda… distasteful and loses its charm after a while.

And then finally, Karan Johar’s segment.

This is very different from the first three segments. They were pretty much immediately scary, but this more creeps up on you… I think. I mean, it’s slightly creepy, but no scary… yet….

Oh, this is a comedy ghost story kind of thing? It’s also got the weakest performances of the bunch. But it’s kinda amusing but it should have been funnier?

So, OK, the second bit was the best (really good), and then the first bit (almost as good), and then the third bit (started off well and then started hitting the audience over the head with The Metaphor), and then the fourth bit (somewhat amusing, but not scary).

This isn’t jump-scare horror or anything: The best bit emulate 60s psychological scary movies, and you have to commit to the fiction to get anything out of it. For me it really worked, but that leaves the rating: As every anthology movie, it’s uneven, but I really enjoyed most of it. So…

Anyway! It’s great going out on a positive note: I’ve seen some horrible, horrible movies (and not in a good way) while writing this blog series, and this movie was totes fun.

This post is part of the NFLX2019 blog series.

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