31 Days of Horror: Ghost Story

“Ghost Story” is an R-rated movie starring Fred Astaire.

I have never seen a movie that contained so many sweaty, weeping, old white men. This slow paced movie features a group of four men who call themselves “The Chowder Society” who get together to tell each other hoary old chestnut “ghost stories” of the sort little kids tell each other. They are really very boring stories, but are apparently terrifying enough that the men blame their nightmares and night sweats on them. Oh, so much night time sweating. This movie also features male full frontal nudity as a dude falls out a window to his death.

The most remarkable thing about the movie is the female lead, who manages to speak without moving any part of her face but her mouth. Her eyes, forehead, etc… they don’t move. It’s like her face is a rigid mask, like she’s an automaton with an articulated mouth. Did botox exist in the late 70s/early 80s? Was it meant to be creepy, to make her see inhuman? I remain unsure.

Anyway, unemployed failed writer Don has returned to his childhood home after the unexpected death of his successful brother. His dad hates him, and wishes he were the dead one, not his successful brother. Dad falls off a bridge to his death. Even though he tumbles over backwards, it’s deemed a suicide. Don decides he wants to join the Chowder Society, but the price of entry is a ghost story. So he launches into this incredibly long story about the time he totally banged a ghost, including mentioning his taking a bath with her and tweaking her nipple with his toes. Like, why would you tell a bunch of sweaty old dudes who are basically your uncles a sexy story with that level of detail? They reject him, but later invite him into the club when more of their number die.

It turns out that these besties totally murdered a chick by accident while drunk and dumped her body in a car in a pond, and even though she was super rich nobody noticed she was gone. Also they all went on to be really successful and didn’t suffer in any way until they were already old and palsied, so I’m not sure what took the ghost so long to wreck her vengeance.

I learned some stuff from this movie, though:

  • If you try to kiss a gal and she mashes her bared teeth into your lips, she’s not into you. Stop it.
  • When telling a ghost story to your dead dad/s sweaty old friends, maybe leave out your detailed sexual escapades and focus more on her mumbled rantings to the sea about killing you.
  • It’s actually pretty hard to kill someone by hitting them on the head, so don’t make assumptions. If you knock someone out, check their pulse before writing them off as dead forever.
  • If you’re a white dude, it’s possible to literally get away with murder and then become mayor of a small town.

At least failed writer Don now has something to write about?

This movie’s based on a Peter Straub book that is probably like 500 times faster paced and more interesting than the movie. I give it 2 out of 5 stars, unless you really like watching old white men cry and sweat, in case you might want to add another star to the rating.

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Blog post copyright Brigid Keely Barjaktarevic. Originally posted at Words Words Words Art. If you enjoy this blog, check out my parenting blog at Now Showing!.

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