Ghost Stories Ending Explained by Deffinition
Ghost Stories is a British Horror Movie written and directed by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson. The film follows a paranormal investigator as he attempts to debunk three chilling ghost stories.
The three stories themselves revolve around a night watchman working in an old factory, a teenager whose car breaks down and a businessman who is awaiting the birth of his child. As the film progresses we learn that everything is not as clear as it seems and I will be discussing the major plot twists and narrative choices that the film takes.
With that out the way, I’m Deffinition and this is my ending explained video for Ghost Stories.
We follow Professor Goodman, a hard skeptic on his most intriguing paranormal case. After receiving a note from a long thought dead peer named Gorman, the Professor tracks down his idol and finds the recluse on death’s door. Gifted three unexplainable cases by the mysterious figure, Goodman ponders whether to take them or not. He notices two boys playing on the beach with a dead bird and sets off to interview the first of the of the three storytellers
He comes into contact with Tony, a night watchman whose daughter suffers from locked-in syndrome. This is a paralysing disease that leaves the victim bed bound and unable to move but fully conscious of their environment. This plays heavily into the main plot and Tony’s story.
He recounts how on his final night at work he was haunted by a mysterious specter. One that takes the form of a young girl in a yellow dress and haunts him with the corpse of a bird. Chased through the disused building, lights are disconnected, mops take on a life of their own, shadows leap out at him and doors unlock by themselves. Eventually, Tony is lead into a room filled with mannequins. To me, they symbolise his daughter, lifeless to look at there is still something within. When attacked by a ghost that put it’s finger in his mouth, Tony comes to the terrifying relisation that he has abandoned his daughter and the next day he goes to visit her once more in the hospital.
This story guilt trips the Professor into visiting his father who too suffers from locked-in syndrome but there is little he can do. Racked with the guilt of abandoning him he journeys out to see the second of his cases: Simon.
This mysterious boy has strange photographs on the wall of boys playing by a dark tunnel, parents with their back turned and a strange boy running around upstairs. The house as a whole will send shivers up the spine of anyone who watches it and it is the perfect setting for the character.
Simon’s story centres around him driving home and hitting a Satyr. This half man, half goat monster chases him into the woods where he is attacked by a tree. Since his attack Simon has barricaded himself in his home, afraid to answer the door and this once again plays into the locked in motif that would come at the film’s conclusion.
The Professor leaves but when driving home he hallucinates and sees himself trapped in his car dying.
Mike is the final story. This rich countryman talks about the night his wife gave birth to their son and how even though he was what many would consider deformed, he still loved him even if no one else did. The story is littered with symbols such as a girl in a yellow dress and many locks and keys. During it’s telling, Goodman notices a strange boy in a Parker coat following him and when Mike commits suicide at the stories climax it’s clear that things aren’t as they seem.
The Professor races back to Gorman who reveals himself to be Mike in disguise. Tearing through the scenery he transports the Professor to his childhood where the true meaning behind each tale is revealed.
As a child, The Professor witnessed two bullies force a mentally disabled child named Kojak into a tunnel where he had an asthma attack and died. Goodman had the opportunity to save the boy but instead did nothing and this guilt has weighed heavily over him. These two bullies are the people that Goodman witnessed after visiting Gorman and who he saw in photographs at Simon’s house. Clearly, the moment weighs heavily over everything he does.
In his later years the character, racked with the disappointment of his deed attempted to commit suicide by locking himself in his car and pumping the inside full of carbon dioxide. Causing severe brain damage, the Professor is now in fact in a coma hallucinating the stories that haunt him. We see the three characters enter the room in what is a very Wizard of Oz moment and discuss his situation. Locked in his own mind Professor Goodman is unable to do anything and his surroundings are inspiring his imagination.
We see a doll in a yellow dress at his side, Tony uses a mop to clean the floor, a bird hits the window, the hospital equipment that Gorman had surrounds his bed, Mike shines lights in his eyes and a finger-like tube hangs out of his mouth. Similar to Tony’s Daughter, Simon and Mike he is locked in his own mind, unable to change the horrible mistake that he made as a child.
There are several interpretations to be taken from Ghost Stories and the film definitely climaxes in a way that means there is no real clear-cut answer to exactly what is real and what is in Goodman’s imagination. I loved the repetition of locks and keys and how many things from the past played off in the final scene.
Recently I read the graphic novel Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and John Higgins, in that there is a chapter called ‘Old Ghosts’ in which the characters have to deal with their past coming back to haunt them.
This book discusses how ghosts are not ghosts but they are in fact our memories coming back and reminding us of the horrible things that we have done which is why they horrify us so.
Metaphorically Professor Goodman has had to deal with his own Ghosts and the skeletons in his closet haunted him until he viewed death as the only escape. Failing in his final act he must now live out the rest of his life, trapped in a bed where his own personal ghosts manifest every thought he has. A never-ending nightmare.
So, what did you think of Ghost Stories? Personally, I thought the film had some very tense moments but failed to deliver as much as I had hoped. Due to the terrible makeup, I was able to instantly spot that Martin Freeman was playing Gorman and this took me out of the tale quite a lot. The ending was also slightly jarring and due to this, I was unable to attach myself completely to it.
However, it is very well acted and the Night Watchmen’s tale had me on the edge of my seat so I definitely recommend going to see it for that alone.
With there being so much to take from the film I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. There are several ways to interpret the movie and hundreds upon hundreds of easter eggs dotted throughout that pay off in the climax. What was your favourite moment? Comment below and let me know and if you like this video please check out the recent ending explanation that I did for A Quiet Place.
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Thanks very much, take care PEACE!