While the overall plot of “Ghost Story” is clear enough, there are plenty of characters and quirky moments on the film’s fringes that remain unresolved towards the end. This includes the haunted house duo of Gregory Bate (Miguel Fernandes) and Fenny Bate (Lance Holcomb) as well as scary hints and allusions to Eva/Alma.
These questions are, of course, answered in Straub’s novel, a 483-page book. Cohen, who had previously adapted Stephen King’s more streamlined “Carrie” novel for Brian De Palma’s 1976 film, did an impressive job shortening Straub’s story but failed to solve it. solve all the problems created by such simplification.
Furthermore, Irvin finds himself in a difficult position when it comes to the tone and content of the film. Universal Pictures was initially interested in letting the film compete with the bloody murderous series that had been released throughout 1981, and some gruesome reality effects creations were planned for the film. Most of that is thanks to the help of effects makeup artist Dick Smith, who has refreshed such landmark horror effects films as “Altered States” and “Scanners”. Smith designed several incarnations of the evil Eva/Alma, very few of which appeared in the final installment. However, a few still provocative photographs remained, and articles such as the one published in the February 1982 issue of Cinefantastique (excerpted in this piece) at least provides some details on what could be an even more disturbing version of the film.
Despite those missing elements, “Ghost Story” retains its terrifying and entertaining power, and if nothing else is an impressive introduction to Fred Astaire’s range of performances. It’s unfortunate that such a revelation comes too late. So “Ghost Story” is the only movie where you can watch Astaire stabbed a guy, survived a car crash, and fight a ghost. C’est la vie!
https://www.slashfilm.com/958881/fred-astaires-final-film-is-a-gothic-gem-worth-watching/ Fred Astaire’s Last Movie Is A Gothic Gem Worth Watching