As a horror movie fan there’s a lot to really like in this portmanteau movie. Clearly made by people who appreciate the genre and who – like me – prefer creepy scares to gore, each of the three tales is really well-crafted and disturbing. (Mrs Jameson won’t mind me saying that she watched large parts of it from behind a pillow.) The problem I had with it though is the framing device and the twist that comes from within that framing device, which I didn’t buy and just left me scratching my head with questions. So, despite the fact I enjoyed the parts, I was ultimately underwhelmed by the whole.
Andy Nyman is a professor who debunks psychics and the supernatural. If you think James Randi, just without any charm or magic. Accepting a challenge to examine three cases which seemingly can’t be explained, he hears Paul Whitehouse’s tale of spooky goings on in an old mental asylum; Alex Lawther’s disturbing encounter in the woods (probably the best of the three); and Martin Freeman’s distressing tale of his wife’s pregnancy. The smug professor thinks he has a good handle on the all – but does he really?
This is an incredibly male film. Indeed, I can’t think of a woman who has more than a couple of lines and that feels distinctly to its detriment. The stories are good, but the male and pale thing needs some variety. Yes, it makes a certain kind of sense as the conclusion heaves into view, but as I say – and I don’t want to give much away – I find the conclusion more perplexing than disturbing. In the end this is a good, well-made horror movie, but one which – frustratingly – could have been so much better.
My debut novel, THE WANNABES – which has been out of print for a little while – is now available for free. A supernatural thriller of beautiful actresses and deadly ambition in London town, it’s well worth your time. You can get your copy here!