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5.0 out of 5 stars Great scary movie
I remember going to the show and seeing this movie. I liked it. I thought it was a good movie.
Published 7 months ago by DeGraaf

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Cast. Interesting Concept. Low on Chills
Several elderly gentleman are tormented by the ghost of a beautiful woman who is also in hot pursuit of one of the men's sons. The reason behind her revenge makes an interesting story that may please soft-core fans of the genre.

Based on Peter Straub's novel (which I have never read), "Ghost Story" stars several famous, accomplished actors, Fred Astaire (devoid...
Published 2 months ago by E. Valero


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3.0 out of 5 stars Great Cast. Interesting Concept. Low on Chills, Jan. 21 2014
By 
E. Valero "Eterno" (Woodbridge, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ghost Story (DVD)
Several elderly gentleman are tormented by the ghost of a beautiful woman who is also in hot pursuit of one of the men's sons. The reason behind her revenge makes an interesting story that may please soft-core fans of the genre.

Based on Peter Straub's novel (which I have never read), "Ghost Story" stars several famous, accomplished actors, Fred Astaire (devoid of his dancing shoes), John Houseman, Douglas Fairbranks Jr and a new comer, the beautiful Alice Krige. Overall, the performances are good by the ensemble cast but the real star, in my opinion, is Krige as Eva/Alma, the ruthless ghost who has risen from her frozen surroundings to get her revenge. Aside from being possibly the most attractive killer cadaver ever screened, her performance really stands out. She is seductive, cold and calculating and her voice, along with that accent, makes her rather unpleasant character kind of irresistible. She was indeed perfectly cast and it looks like she had a great time playing the elusive ghost tormenting the cowardly men of The Chowder Society. She also has some of the best dialogue in the film and delivers each line with a mixture of seduction and malice - "Dance with me you little toad", "I think I'll take a bite out of you", "I thought you'd be dying to see me", "I will take you places you have never been, I will show you things you have never seen and I will see the life run out of you".

The cinematography is also excellent here and the overall look and feel of the film is effective and at times, chilling. We get some beautiful, eerie shots of the sleepy, quaint village covered in ice and blankets of snow adding much needed tension and fear, a frozen lake, a dark crumbling house with leaking, crumbling walls and colourful period costumes.

The main problem with "Ghost Story" however is that it's a horror film with very little bite since the chills are few and far between. Although I have never read Straub's original novel, it has been stated that, not surprisingly, it is superior and very different to the film since several important elements were removed. Apparently Eva/Alma is a shape-shifter, a Manitou and this is not the direction the film went which is a shame as these otherworldly transformations would have raised the fright factor in the movie. With that said, the make up effects are very good. The vindictive spook appears in various stages of decomposition throughout unfortunately she appears for only a couple of seconds of screen time and the viewer has to wait another 30 minutes or so before the nasty corpse is briefly shown again. So despite a lovely leading lady, great performances and promising effects make-up, the film drags quite a bit.

This film may not satisfy the hard-core horror nut but for the casual viewer who prefers substance over guts and gore, you might enjoy this over-long but sinister early 80's tale of supernatural vengeance.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great scary movie, Aug. 24 2013
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This review is from: Ghost Story (DVD)
I remember going to the show and seeing this movie. I liked it. I thought it was a good movie.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Straub's masterful novel just doesn't lend itself to theatrical adaptation, July 19 2006
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghost Story (DVD)
It's been at least fifteen years since I read Peter Straub's Ghost Story, and I must admit I've forgotten almost everything about the actual story. What I do remember is my conviction that Straub's novel was truly a masterpiece of the horror genre. Straub is a complete writer, not some penny dreadful hack, and that almost guarantees that no film can possibly do any of his writings justice. Movies revolve around characters and actions, and Straub's fiction really plays on a much higher level. Frankly, I'm surprised that anyone would even attempt to adapt Straub for the big screen. Robbed of its atmospheric build-up, Ghost Story (the film) proves quite incapable of immersing you in the dark shadows haunting the Chowder Club Society meetings. Unable to take on a life of its own onscreen, Ghost Story feels to me like an old made-for-TV movie.

The four elderly, distinguished gentlemen who make up the The Chowder Society have been trading ghost tales and scary stories for decades. For fifty years, however, not a one of them has ever even thought about mentioning the most disturbing story of all, one that they all secretly share. Eva was her name, a saucy little newcomer who had all four of their college-age hearts pitter-pattering as they stumbled over one another pitching woo in her general direction. It's weird enough for four best friends to all be wooing the same girl at the same time, but the director manages to make it even stranger and more confusing. Two of the guys constantly giggle like schoolgirls, none of them seem to have a clue about the essential nature of man-woman communications, and they all combine to make one of the film's most climactic scenes little more than pedestrian in terms of their emotional reactions.

As older gentlemen, the members of The Chowder Society are quite distinguished and refined. It's a solid core of aging actors: Fred Astaire, John Houseman, Melvyn Douglas, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. It's rather sad in a way, though, watching true Hollywood greats rapidly approaching the ends of their careers. Astaire's dancing days were long over by this point, but his often-overlooked acting ability is quite evident here - he, Houseman, and a young Alice Krige (Eva/Alma) basically carry the movie on their backs.

Ghost Story isn't a bad movie by any means; clearly, though, it falls far short of the mark set down in Straub's original novel. There's just an almost complete lack of atmosphere on display here, even during the most dramatic scenes. Moving at a preternaturally slow pace, the film will surely turn off a lot of younger fans expecting a lot of in-your-face action from start to finish. It's hard to assign much blame for the ordinariness of this movie, though, as it really comes down to the fact that Peter Straub's fiction just doesn't lend itself to theatrical adaptation.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Novel: Excellent, Film: Not!, July 2 2004
By 
This review is from: Ghost Story (DVD)
First, let me say that Straub's novel is one of the finest ghost stories ever written. It's terrifying, too, as good ghost stories should be. Hence, I had high expectations of this film. The fact is the film is dreadful! It's almost nothing like the novel, and the only reason I give it two stars is due to some atmosphere. The cinematography looks good. That's about it. Spend your money, sure, but spend it on the novel and you'll spend many dark evenings in your reading chamber casting furtive glances at those darkened corners.
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3.0 out of 5 stars SENIOR SCARES, June 6 2004
By 
Michael Butts (Berkeley Springs, WV USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ghost Story (DVD)
When I first saw GHOST STORY on its initial release, I found it to be an entertaining, if not faithful, adaptation of Peter Straub's frightening novel. Now, some 20 years later, I found the movie less entertaining. The main problem I think is the enigmatic nature of the ghost, Eva Galli or Alma Mosely. Was she evil or supernatural prior to her death? And why doesn't she kill Donald as she did his brother? Was she really alive when she went down in the car? And what in the world do the Bates have to do with anything? And the classic "I am You" line is powerless without an explanation.
John Irvin's direction is also lackluster and sober. Of all the classic actors involved, none of them showed the power they have possessed in other roles. Although a talented actor, Craig Wasson was woefully miscast. Only Alice Krige as the ghostly Alma and Jacqueline Brookes as Astaire's wife bring any luster or poignancy to the film.
It's not a bad film by any means, and it does have some frightening moments with a wonderful score by Phillipe Sarde. I wish someone would remake it, however, and bring out more of the wonderful scariness of the novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Guaranteed To Keep You Awake Late Into The Night ... ..., April 27 2004
By 
Jack Burgess (Tampa, Fl USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghost Story (DVD)
Universal plans to re-release Ghost Story on September 7, 2004
just in time for Halloween. Most likely this re-release won't have any extras, although we can always hope. I have always enjoyed this film and although the story line does'nt quite gel with the book's, who cares. This movie is genuinely creepy.
Anyway, all of us fans of this film can start the countdown. Til' then, enjoy.
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1.0 out of 5 stars No - No - No - No - No, April 17 2004
This review is from: Ghost Story (DVD)
This is the way you film a very poor adaptation of a well writen and very scary novel.
Here's the problem: Only a very small piece of the storyline from the book made it to the movie. Ordinarily I would have no issue with this. Except in this case hints of the rest of the plot from the book are included without explanation. Why does Alma say to Don "I am You"? What does that mean in the context of the story on film? It's not explained and doesn't make any sense at all. It is fully explained in the novel, and very well.
Why are Gregory and Fenny Bate even in the movie? They don't need to be to further the story. Especially because of the great side story told by Sears about them in the book.
This film has too many holes, too many unanswered questions and Lawrence Cohen's adaptation of Peter Straub's novel is nowhere near the great job he did with Stephen King's "Carrie".
Do yourself a favor - read the book. You will be much more satisfied.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Best Sex Scene Ever!!!, Feb. 1 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Ghost Story (DVD)
I haven't seen this movie since it appeared on HBO in the Fall of 1982 but I have fond memories of it. The scene that stands out most in my memory is the sex scene with Alice Kringe and her boyfriend. FANTASTIC!!!!! I wish this DVD wasn't out-of-print!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ghost Story, Sept. 2 2003
By 
kristine f peart (Phila. Pennsylvania) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ghost Story (VHS Tape)
This is an excellent horror. I've been looking for it for years. More of a good old fashioned horror. I had to own it, there's suspense and the story line is intense.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Moldy sheets are more frightening., May 2 2003
This review is from: Ghost Story (VHS Tape)
The Peter Straub novel upon which this movie is based is one of the best and scariest ghost stories ever written. Unfortunately such praise cannot be applied to this disappointing "adaptation." The routine thriller settles for trite effects over any substance and nearly everything that made the book unique has been removed. The narrative as a result crumbles into a predictable, strictly by the numbers bore. There really isn't much to hold your attention - the only good thing about this film is the beautiful Alice Krige and the script is so poor that she has little to do with her role. Read the book instead.
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Ghost Story
Ghost Story by John Irvin (DVD - 2004)
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