Horrortoberfest ’21 Day 10 – Ghost Stories (2020)

The final film in the Indian horror week is an anthology of different stories that are, despite the title, only half about ghosts. This one was made for Netflix and you can tell immediately that the movie has a much stronger western sense about it than the previous ones that I’ve watched. The other thing about this that’s different since it was made for Netflix is that it has an English dub as well, so those that hate reading subtitles can get in on this one as well. As with other anthologies that I’ve reviewed, I’ll give a score to each story instead of an overall.

The first story is also the most basic and straightforward of the lot. A nurse is called in to take care of a shut-in patient and you get the whole creepy old person stuff as well as your standard spooky house stuff. This one has a great rhythm to the tension that manages to slowly ratchet things up until you get the big reveal at the end. There is an entire story with the nurse dating a married guy as well but none of that really ends up being relevant to the overall story. It doesn’t detract from it, though, so I’ll give it a pass. Score: 3.5 out of 5

The second story is a vast departure from the previous one as it moves into a more experimental and metaphorical story. It has an entirely washed out look to it where it almost looks black and white but you can make out some shades of color here and there when the lighting is right. It follows a woman that had a child that died and now she is pregnant with a new one. There is a creepy kid she babysits, a bird theme running throughout, and a room full of creepy dolls. The story might have worked if they had focused on the kid or just the mother getting increasingly deranged but it ends up being this semi-incomprehensible mess that has more style than substance. Score: 2 out of 5

The third story follows a man as he is walking to a small town for some job he has to do there. When he gets there, he finds that he has unwittingly walked into the last act of a zombie/wendigo type horror film. The only survivors are 2 small children that immediately get him inside and try to explain to a man that has no idea he is in a horror movie that if he goes outside he’s going to get eaten. The whole thing ends up being mostly a metaphor for towns absorbing smaller villages or something but I like to ignore the end of this and just pretend it’s a cool monster story. Score: 3.5 out of 5

The last story in the anthology is another fairly standard ghost story. A woman gets an arranged marriage to a guy that is a little too attached to his granny. Which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if it wasn’t for the fact that his grandmother was also dead. She, very rightfully, is less than enthused about her new husband talking to thin air and needing to vet any relationship ideas with his dead grandmother. Instead of just leaving him or playing along, though, she straight up steals granny’s cane and tells her to fuck off which, in hindsight, probably wasn’t the best idea. Score: 2.5 out of 5

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