Ghost Story

Featured In Issue 203, January 2016

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Scream Factory
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John Irvin
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DTS HD High Resolution 5.1
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Based on the novel by Peter Straub, Ghost Story takes place in a peaceful New England town where four lifelong friends (Astaire, Douglas, Fairbanks, Jr. and Houseman), who make up the Chowder Society, come together each week to regale each other with tales of terror. But when one of the elderly gentlemen experiences a family tragedy, it becomes apparent that a buried secret from their youth has arisen to remind them of the sins of their past, Soon, they will learn they have never been forgiven… and a supernatural vengeance awaits them all. (Gary Reber)

Special features include new commentary by Director John Irvin; new interviews with Author Peter Straub, Actress Alice Krige, Screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen, Producer Burt Weissbourd, Visual Effects Supervisor Albert Whitlock, and Matte Photographer Bill Taylor; the featurette Ghost Story Genesis (SD 39:42) and Ghost Story Development (29:09); a vintage theatrical trailer; TV and Radio Spots; and a photo gallery.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture exhibits a chilling and atmospheric appearance, with only minor dirt and scratches evident with critical evaluation, but never distracting. The film elements have survived remarkably well. The color palette by Technicolor® is gorgeous, with nicely saturated hues that are rich and warm. Fleshtones are naturally hued as well, with a filmic tone. Contrast is well balanced with shadows that are near revealing in detail. This is particularly evident in the night scenes and in the room where the Chowder Society tells its first ghost story, lit with the ambers of a fire. Resolution is generally softly focused, with better detail exhibited during close-ups of people and textures. While grain is slight, the overall picture quality is quite cinematic and artistic. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 2.0 soundtrack is two-channel monaural and is decent but undistinguished. The sound is compressed with respect to sound effects, but Phillippe Sarde’s music score is nicely presented and the most impressive sound element. Bass frequencies do not extend deep, leaving the more dramatic scenes that should sound dynamic, disappointing. Dialogue is consistently clear and intelligible. While fidelity is dated, the overall soundtrack is effective. (Gary Reber)