The Film (3.5/5)
The first thing that came to my mind when I first saw this film was “Fred Astaire in a horror movie?!?!? “ You bet! Fred Astaire, often found in classic musical dance films from the 1930s along with Ginger Rogers has a great role late in his career in the 1981 supernatural horror movie entitled Ghost Story. The story is about vengeance. Four elderly men, part of the Chowder Society share a very sinister secret. The four members include Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (Gunga Din) Melvyn Douglas (The Old Dark House) and John Houseman (The Fog). This was Melvyn Douglas’ last film as he passed away before it was released.
All four of them not only share the same secret but they share the same scary nightmare. As the film progresses we learn what that secret is, that all four men wanted the same woman, Alice Krige playing both Eva Galli (of the past) and Alma Mobley (of the present). The four men all had something to do with Eva’s death and have been haunted ever since. Alma has returned to get revenge all four members of the Chowder Society
Without giving away too much of the plot, the film has a few suspenseful, scary moments, some cool corpse gore effects but it’s nothing repulsive or overly graphic. It’s a great winter film with a snowy atmosphere that at least to me, always enhances a scary horror movie
I wouldn’t call myself a diehard fan of the movie, but I certainly enjoyed more upon the second viewing. A lot of negativity of the film is due that film greatly deviates from the book, but just as a film, on its own merits, it’s really good and worth checking out. Just because a movie doesn’t follow a book doesn’t make it a poor film, it just means they didn’t stick with the book when they made the film.
Often requested by their fans, Shout Factory comes through with an excellent release under the Scream Factory label. This release is AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.85:1, and it’s visually stunning. Grain is present, the colors, details have excellent depth. Of course there are a few issues such as dirt or a scratch here and there, but overall this is looking as good as it ever has. The audio, DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono track is also great, no issues to report. The audio really comes to life at moments that intended to SHOCK you.
As with most of Scream Factory’s releases they come with a lot of extras. This one is no exception
Audio Commentary by Director John C. Irvin
Ghost Story Genesis
Ghost Story Developmental
Interviews with actress Alice Krige (Eva and Alma) and Albert Whitlock Visual Effects with Bill Taylor
I will give this release the highest praise and recommendation as you wouldn’t see Universal studios give this movie (or many of their other catalog titles) the kind of treatment that Scream Factory has. They have released a much sought after gem of a movie and given it the bells and whistles. And that’s on top of an excellent audio/video presentation