Ready for a bonus Christmas Ghost story review?
Toward the end of my article Christmas Ghosts and Haunted Houses, I wrote a preview concerning up and coming reviews of Christmas related haunted house stories. I was to review A Strange Christmas Game by J.H. Riddell and Smee by A.M. Burrage. I have fulfilled those commitments. But the Christmas/holiday season continues to roll along, so I said to myself, “By golly, I have time for one more!” I then discovered how much I enjoy talking to myself, so I continued on with the conversation I was having with yours truly, and I said, “I would be remiss if I do not at least touch on the work of M.R James, after all his name is synonymous with The Christmas Ghost story.”
Unfortunately, this touch amounts to a small nudge, because I am not actually reviewing his writing. Rather, I am reviewing a short film that is based on one of his stories. The film is The Haunted Doll’s House by Stephen Gray, and an interesting film it is!
Christmas festivities are usually not the subjects of M.R. James’s ghost stories. But, they were stories that to were read out loud on Christmas Eve. This is an old English tradition, and you can read about it here.
The Haunted Doll’s House has nothing to do with Christmas. Unless, one thinks of a doll house as a Christmas gift for a young girl, but this is a bit of a stretch. According to literature.wikia.com, it was first published in 1923 for the magazine Empire review, it later became part of anthology titled “A Warning to the Curious and Other Ghost Stories”
Now fast forward ninety years to 2013, and we have Stephen Gray’s film version of the classic story. (I’m sure there were other incarnations somewhere in the ninety years, but oh well to them.)
According to www.thin-ghost.org, this film was made with “no budget.” It is minimalism at its finest! There is live action along with some creepily effective animation.
All I’m going to say about this plot it this: a man purchases an antique dollhouse. The dollhouse is haunted. Want more details? Watch the film.
How does this film stack against James’s original story? I don’t know. I still haven’t read anything from M.R. James. That is my bad and I promise I will do so soon.
For now, enjoy the film. Watch it here:
Betcha thought I forgot about the third Christmas promise I made! I didn’t. In addition to promising Christmas Ghost story reviews, I said that I would write my own Christmas Ghost Story. And I have. But now I’m checking it twice. I want to make sure it’s both scary and nice! It will be up soon!