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 3 months ago by DeGraaf
3.0 out of 5 stars Straub's masterful novel just doesn't lend itself to theatrical adaptation
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...
Published on July 19 2006 by Daniel Jolley
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great scary movie,
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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.
3.0 out of 5 stars Straub's masterful novel just doesn't lend itself to theatrical adaptation,
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.
2.0 out of 5 stars Novel: Excellent, Film: Not!,
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.
3.0 out of 5 stars SENIOR SCARES,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Guaranteed To Keep You Awake Late Into The Night ... ...,
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.
1.0 out of 5 stars No - No - No - No - No,
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.
2.0 out of 5 stars Best Sex Scene Ever!!!,
By A Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Ghost Story,
2.0 out of 5 stars Moldy sheets are more frightening.,
1.0 out of 5 stars Lame chiller,
Oh, what's the use. This flick hasn't any surprises. Both Alma, the beautiful woman years earlier desired and destroyed by our aged anti-heroes, and the mystery woman loved by both sons, are one and the same. Alma (a very pre-assimilated-by-the-Borg Alice Krige), we learn, came to the home-town of the Chowders in a by-gone age, when life was good, the weather was warm and the old men were young enough to be played by Ken Olin. Sought, loved and seemingly shared by each of the men, Alma is killed in an outrageous fluke. The "Chowders" of course, being gentlemen, cannot consider answering for their admittedly unwitting homicide, and cover up their tracks. Sealing the secret with a vow of silence, they set themselves up for Alma's horrific vengeance from beyond the grave. Years later, when they are old enough to be played by John Houseman, Alma returns.
This flick was a major disappointment - even before I knew who Alice Krige was. When we first meet them, the Chowders are basically non-characters - already ghosts themselves. Our ghost is also a mystery - but for the wrong reasons. Instead of irony or poetic justice, you've got to wonder why she postponed vengeance until the Chowders are old enough to be at death's door. I'd accept that the Chowder's guilt gave Alma power them - but how does that net sweep the sons of one of her killers? Instead, the script just gives her the power to scare people into falling out of high-rise buildings and off of bridges and - when there are no cliffs or open windows around - the power to simply suck life out of the living. Alice Krige, as Alma, seems more alive than anybody else in this flick - until the script decides she needs some special effects and turns her into a rotting corpse. The story grants her the despair and rage of a lonely and cold death, giving her more dimension than anybody else in the story. Wisely, the story preserves her fate as a victim, even as she seeks to dispatch her killers. Still, her vengeance is hollow because none of her haunts seems alive enough to warrant her ectoplasmic revenge. The script is light on effects, implying that it was going for the subtle route - but that requires mystery, character and plot-power that this flick painfully lacks. The special effects are lackluster and the editing is incredibly sloppy. Near the end, the cinematographers seem to have forgotten what time of day a scene is set in. Rather than pick apart the irony of ghost stories (in which the dead come alive by their desire for justice, while the guilty living seem to be walking ghosts) the film plods until it reaches an ambiguous climax clear in only a single respect: this is the least scary movie will ever see.
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Ghost Story by John Irvin (DVD - 2004)
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