Runtime: 2h 24m
Directors: Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap
Writers: Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, Niranjan Iyengar, Isha Luthra, Vijay Maurya, Ensia Mirza, Avinash Sampath
Stars: Janhvi Kapoor, Surekha Sikri, Amruta Subhash
“I don’t know about the two of you, but Ira… I love your parents. They’re such silent people. I love silent people.”
Initial: This was another list change-up since I currently have Netflix. It’s a streaming extravaganza over here at the Nabity Household!
Production Notes: This is the third anthology film from directors Akhtar, Banerjeem, Johar, and Kashyap.
What Did I Think:
Ghost Stories starts out with one of the best title sequences I’ve seen in a while: a sinisterly symphonic score by Sameer Uddin over animation by Studio Kokaachi.
The reviews seems pretty down on this anthology movie for not being very scary. I’ll agree; these four short films don’t really push the boundaries of fright, but they’re overall just fairly solid. The first and last segments (directed by Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar respectively) are really good old-fashioned ghost stories with fairly old-fashioned scares to go along with them. The second segment, directed by Anurag Kashyap, is the most stylistically ambitious, using a de-saturated color scale a lot of timeline skipping/dream sequences. It kind of comes together at the end as a story, but maybe not. It’s hard to put narrative to nightmare structures. The third segment (dir. Dibakar Banerjee) is the most plot ambitious, with a bureaucrat arriving in Smalltown to investigate why children are failing in school to find that the citizens of Smalltown have been eaten by the citizens of Bigtown. Literally eaten. Obviously some allegory going on there.
There are some tense moments in these stories, and sure, some ordinary jump scares, but they’re decent stories. I wasn’t disappointed.