Ghost Story (1981)
Directed by: John Irvin
Written by: Lawrence D. Cohen, based on the novel by Peter Straub
Starring: Craig Wasson, Alice Krige, Fred Astaire, John Houseman, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Jacqueline Brookes, Patricia Neal, Miguel Fernandes, Lance Holcomb
So obviously this movie is about ghosts (and it's a story...), but more specifically, it's about these four old guys who killed this lady sort of by accident about 50 years ago Naturally, she doesn' quite stay dead and comes back to haunt the shit out of them and their kids.
They take a long time just to tell that, and throw in a lot of unnecessary extra crap. Like there's this whole thing about these escaped mental patients (I guess) who are part of a satanic cult or something. That was totally pointess and didn't really go anywhere.
So I haven't read Ghost Story (surprise surprise), but I have read a lot of ghosts stories (and written a few as well) and I know that often the shorter the story, the more effective.
The movie is actually just a little under two hours, but it feels a lot longer. It's a very generic story with a lot of bullshit frills, and could have been made in 45 minutes or less (make it half an hour and put it in a three-part anthology).
The other major problem with the movie is that it realy isn't very scary. It's got one or two spooky bits, and Alice Krige is pretty fucking freaky, but overall it's kind of lame.
It's actually quite a bit like The Ring - the drowned girl with long hair over her face, the water running down the walls - only The Ring is a lot better.
On the good side, the acting was pretty good (which stands to reason) particularly on the part of Freaky Alice.
And... um... well, the special effects weren't too bad. They had some pretty good rottage going on there. I thought that was a little tacky, but it looked okay. It was all kind of tacky. It's a tacky kind of story. Ghost stories generally are tacky.