Ghost Stories, co-directed and written by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson, ingeniously strings together three shorts with the story of a skeptic who professionally debunks paranormal claims. Equal parts spooky and cheeky, this film nails its black humor and finds a bizarre but satisfying conclusion to manage all the loose ends.
We enter Ghost Stories via a television show, starring Nyman himself as Professor Goodman, the debunker, who we see catch a psychic shyster in the act Cheaters-style. Then Goodman addresses the TV cameras to explain that his hero, Dr. Charles Cameron, was a notorious skeptic who unmasked charlatans and one day promptly disappeared, leaving his car and possessions behind. Goodman tells us he's gotten a sudden invite from the mysterious Cameron to come and visit. Soon, he's presented with three cases that Cameron could never solve, ones so shocking they rattled him and made him a believer. It's up to Goodman to prove him wrong.
The cases are quite simple: a nightwatchman (Paul Whitehouse) is haunted by an asylum's specters; a businessman (Martin Freeman) is visited by a ghoulish version of his wife; a boy (Alex Lawther) is terrorized by the demon he hit with his car. But a too-complex plot has been known to doom a horror short, anyway; the best tend to be straightforward, sometimes with a twist, and always with a couple of scares. Humor is nice, too, and Ghost Stories has plenty. When Goodman visits the nightwatchman, the two dance around the idea of payment until the latter squeezes the professor for 50 quid. Ultimately, it's the acting that sells this anthology.