Ghost Story

Watch Ghost Story

"The Time Has Come to Tell the Tale"
  • R
  • 1981
  • 1 hr 50 min
  • 6.3  (9,666)

Ghost Story is a 1981 horror film based on the novel by Peter Straub. The story is set in the small town of Milburn, New York, where a group of elderly men meet to recount ghost stories. The group consists of Ricky Hawthorne (Fred Astaire), Edward Wanderley (John Houseman), Sears James (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.), and Dr. John Jaffrey (Melvyn Douglas), who are all members of an exclusive club called the Chowder Society. One of the members, Eva Galli (Alice Krige), appears to have come back from the dead, and her return triggers a series of unsettling events that make the men question what they thought they knew about their past.

Craig Wasson plays David, a young man who is staying with his father in Milburn for the summer. When one of the Chowder Society members dies, David becomes intrigued by the group’s bond and decides to investigate further. He befriends the Chowder Society members and discovers that they are haunted by a dark secret from their past. The men are plagued by visions of a beautiful but mysterious woman, and they are all scared of something they call “the bad thing.”

David learns that Eva Galli was involved in the Chowder Society’s past, and that the group may have played a role in her death. He also discovers that Eva may have had supernatural powers, and that she may have been a witch. As David becomes more entrenched in the Chowder Society’s story, he starts experiencing terrifying hallucinations and nightmares. He soon realizes that the strange occurrences in Milburn are not a coincidence, and that he may be in danger.

The film is directed by John Irvin, and boasts impressive performances from its cast. Fred Astaire, in particular, delivers a memorable performance as the aging but wise Ricky Hawthorne. His scenes are a highlight of the movie, as he exudes charisma and warmth despite his character’s ominous history. Alice Krige is also excellent as Eva Galli, the enigmatic and seductive woman at the center of the Chowder Society’s story. Krige’s portrayal of Galli is subtle and nuanced, and she manages to imbue her character with both menace and vulnerability.

The movie’s cinematography is another standout aspect of the film. The use of shadows and darkness is particularly effective in creating a sinister atmosphere. The camera work is often disorienting, with shots that tilt and spin, adding to the film’s unsettling mood. The score, composed by Philippe Sarde, is also noteworthy, with its haunting melodies and discordant sounds.

Ghost Story is a slow-burning, character-driven horror movie that rewards patient viewers with a creepy and satisfying climax. The film’s strength lies in its ability to create a sense of unease through its characters and their relationships. The Chowder Society’s plight is relatable, and the men’s fear of aging and losing their memories is palpable. The film works as both a horror movie and a psychological drama, and its themes are timeless and universal.

Overall, Ghost Story is an underrated gem of '80s horror cinema. Its strong cast, atmospheric direction, and haunting score make it a must-watch for fans of the genre. The film’s exploration of memory, grief, and guilt elevates it above other horror movies of its time, and its ambiguities and unanswered questions give it a lasting impact. Ghost Story is a haunting and eerie tale of the dangers of facing your past.

Ghost Story is a 1981 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3.

Ghost Story
Where to Watch Ghost Story
Ghost Story is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Ghost Story for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 50 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (9,666)