Ghost Story Blu-ray Review – Surprisingly Good 1981 Horror

I love a good ghost story I mean come on who doesn’t right? With Halloween fast approaching I’m on the lookout for some horror films thankfully I spotted one from Second Sight Film released on Blu-ray in the UK in 2015. So without further ado here’s my Ghost Story (1981) blu-ray review.

  • Ghost Story (1981)
  • Genre: Horror
  • Directed by John Irvin
  • UK Rating 18
  • Discs: 1
  • Released By Second Sight Films
  • Blu-ray Released: 7 December 2015


Four friends in a small town in New England form the Chowder Society, a place in which they share horror stories. It’s winter and snow covers the ground and one of these men is about to receive the news that one of his sons has fallen to his death out of his apartment window having seen a strange lady lying in his bed. In fact all of the members of the Chowder Society are experiencing terrible nightmares, could this mysterious woman somehow be haunting their dreams?

Ghost Story is based on the novel of the same name by Peter Straub.

Style / Direction

The film is directed by John Irvin with the cinematography handled by Jack Cardiff. Flashback sequences are used to tell this story and it’s a mechanic that fits this type of horror film well.

Music / Audio Effects

The music is composed by Philippe Sarde and it’s exceptionally well scored.

Acting / Characters

Decent performances all-round make this an engrossing tale.


  • Fred Astaire as Ricky Hawthorne
  • Melvyn Douglas as Dr. John Jaffrey
  • Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as Edward Charles Wanderley
  • John Houseman as Sears James
  • Craig Wasson as Don / David Wanderley
  • Patricia Neal as Stella Hawthorne
  • Alice Krige as Eva Galli / Alma Mobley
  • Jacqueline Brookes as Milly
  • Miguel Fernandes as Gregory Bate
  • Lance Holcomb as Fenny Bate
  • Mark Chamberlin as Young Jaffrey
  • Tim Choate as Young Hawthorne
  • Kurt Johnson as Young Wanderley
  • Ken Olin as Young James
  • Brad Sullivan as Sheriff Hardesty
  • Michael O’Neill as Churchill
  • Guy Boyd as Omar Norris
  • Robin Curtis as Rea Dedham

Conclusion: Ghost Story (1981) Film Review

Having never seen Ghost Story before I was pleasantly surprised, it’s a good horror story well told. Its well worth a look for any horror fan which I most certainly am.

Ghost Story Blu-ray

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Conclusion: Ghost Story (1981) Blu-ray Review

Overall the picture is of a decent standard; however there are the occasional white speckles of dirt that unfortunately persist throughout the film. I’d also say the film could also look a little sharper but it’s still worth upgrading from any previous version you may have.

The extras are an excellent set featuring interviews with the author Peter Straub, actress Alice Kringe, screenwriter and producer. All of which provide a thoroughly interesting look into the making of and genesis of the film.

Add to that a further 29 minute feature on the visual effects used in Ghost Story. This level of extras is a film fans dream come true. It’s just a shame the picture quality didn’t have the same attention as those speckles are slightly annoying.


  • Audio Commentary By Director John Irvin
  • Ghost Story Genesis with Peter Straub (40 mins)
  • Alice Krige: Being Alma Mobley & Eva Galli (29 mins)
  • Screenwriter Lawrence D Cohen & Producer Burt Weissbourd: Story Development (29 mins)
  • The Visual Effects of Albert Whitlock: A Discussion with Matte Photographer Bill Taylor (29 mins)
  • TV Spot
  • Radio Spot
  • Photo Gallery
  • Trailer

Popcorn Cinema Rating: Ghost Story (1981)




Ghost Story (1981) is available now on Blu-ray from Amazon.

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Ghost Story (1981) Blu-ray Review

Ghost Story (1981) Trailer

For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…

Clip not be representative of the blu-ray version

That concludes the Ghost Story blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:

Summary: Ghost Story (1981) Blu-ray Review
Ghost Story (1981) Blu-ray Review

Movie title: Ghost Story (1981)

Duration: 111 mins

Director(s): John Irvin

Actor(s): Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks, John Houseman, Alice Krige, Craig Wasson, Patricia Neal

Genre: Horror

  • Movie Rating
  • Blu-ray Picture Rating
  • Extras


A good horror story well told, a must see for fans of the genre.


  • Excellent Cast
  • Good Story
  • Great Set of Extras Included


  • Picture Quality Could Be Better