Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Ghost Stories

I didn't think I would enjoy Ghost Stories. But someone recommended it, so when I saw some cheap tickets pop up, I decided "what the hey" and went for them.

It's actually quite good. Of course it owes a lot to scary theatre before it (most notably The Woman in Black), but it has enough new ideas to work on it's own.

It's clearly designed for the young crowd, and the whole theatre has been wrapped up in black sheets of plastic, yellow warning tape, fake spider's webs and random chalk numbers. And all of it is lit by a series of makeshift looking torches like you would see on a construction site. There are wires snaking all over the place, and ominous sounds coming from all directions.

The premise is that the audience are watching a university lecture about where Ghost Stories come from, and whether they could be real. The lecturer is a supposed expert on the subject, and he walks you through the three stories that chilled him most to the bone.

I wouldn't have rated it if that's all it did. But after the three stories are finished, the story takes a dramatic twist that challenges which events are real in an oh-so-theatrical way. By the time it finishes, you're impressed by the writing more than the special effects, which I definitely view as a positive thing in the age of Saw.

It was never destined to last on the West End forever, but it's a good night out.

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