Stars: Andy Nyman, Paul Whitehouse, Martin Freeman, Alex Lather
Based on the stage show of the same name, this portmanteau horror, penned by The League of Gentlemen’s Jeremy Dyson, and Andy Nyman, looks to 60s/70s Amicus studio pictures such as Dr Terror’s House of Horrors and The House That Dripped Blood for inspiration. Nyman also stars as Philip Goodman, a Professor of Parapsychology, who has made a TV career out of debunking the supernatural. His mentor, the original TV parapsychologist Charles Cameron, now a recluse, summons Goodman to his remote caravan for an audience. Embittered and disillusioned, Cameron relates to Goodman three tales which he claims have shaken his scepticism. The first is the story of night watchman Tony (Whitehouse) who witnesses terrifying apparitions in the building he is guarding; in the second a teenager (Lawther) is menaced when his car breaks down after hitting an unknown animal; the final deals with a tweedy Farage-esque businessman Priddle (Freeman) who encounters a strange phenomenon while awaiting the birth of his first child. Only the Whitehouse sequence, thanks in no small part to the actor, boasts real scares; the remainder will appeal solely to fans of this particular strand of horror history, with non-aficionados likely to find them not quite scary or funny enough. Nyman is a rather stiff presence as Goodman, while the climactic reveal that links the stories, feels a little too contrived, its impact no doubt diminished in the transition from stage to screen.