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New Podcast! The Escapist Movie Podcast – “The Excellence of The Haunting of Bly Manor”

The Escapist have launched a movie podcast, and I was thrilled to join Jack Packard for the eighth episode. It was a light enough week for film news, so we talked about Disney’s pivot to streaming, the rumours about the upcoming sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, and the joys of The Haunting of Bly Manor.

You can listen to the episode here, back episodes of the podcast here, click the link below or even listen directly.

Non-Review Review: Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories is an existential horror dramedy, and gets that unique cocktail to work much better than it really should.

Ghost Stories is adapted by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman from their stage play of the same name. The play premiered in Liverpool in 2010, to rave reviews. Interestingly, Dyson and Nyman worked hard to preserve the mystery and ambiguity around their production, publicising the show with shots of terrified reactions from the audience and asking those who had seen the film not to discuss its twists and turns with those people who had not. As such, Ghost Stories became something of a cult stage phenomenon.

Black mirror.

With this in mind, adapting a play like Ghost Stories to the big screen presents its share of challenges. Not only does a feature film demand more publicity and more conversation than a stage play, having a much higher profile and a much larger distribution mechanism, it also involves a delicate process of translation. Ghost Stories was a concept very firmly anchored in its format, wedded to the conventions of stage shows. Finding a way to preserve the heart of the play within the framework of a motion picture was always going to be tricky.

Ghost Stories works well, although it arguably works better as a psychological meditation on mankind’s relationship with the supernatural than as a horror anthology in its own right. Ghost Stories is a clever and canny piece of work, one undercut slightly by some clumsy narrative choices in the final act. Still, even in its weakest moments, Ghost Stories is a compelling and engaging little film.

Cue, card.

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Star Trek – The Tholian Web (Review)

This July and August, we’re celebrating the release of Star Trek Beyond by taking a look back at the third season of the original Star Trek. Check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the latest update.

Who hath seen the Phantom Ship,
Her lordly rise and lowly dip,
Careering o’er the lonesome main,
No port shall know her keel again…
Ah, woe is in the awful sight,
The sailor finds there eternal night,
‘Neath the waters he shall ever sleep,
And Ocean will the secret keep

– Albert Pinkham Ryder, 1897

Here there be ghosts...

Here there be ghosts…

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Star Trek: Enterprise – Oasis (Review)

Next year, Star Trek is fifty years old. We have some special stuff planned for that, but – in the meantime – we’re reviewing all of Star Trek: Enterprise this year as something of a prequel to that anniversary. This January, we’re doing the first season. Check back daily for the latest review.

Oasis is an interesting story.

It was also an interesting story that time it was produced as Shadowplay during the second season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Ghosts of Star Trek's past...

Ghosts of Star Trek’s past…

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