The Crooked House

· culture ·

There's nothing I like quite so much as a ghost story at Christmas. I hate horror films, but when the nights are dark and cosy I love settling down with the fairy lights and candles on, a glass of malt whisky in my hand, to watch a classic ghost story. M. R. James was the master of the genre, and I love his chilling tales (filmed for the BBC over many years), which let your imagination (rather than special effects) do all the work.

This year, we have Mark Gatiss' The Crooked House -- a three part ghost story in the classic mould of M. R. James. I think Gatiss is a bit of a polymath: an excellent actor, and a great writer for radio and TV. We've been recording the programmes, and watched the first last night (candles and fairy lights on, glass of whisky in hand, naturally). I was very impressed, and I'm really looking forward to the next two parts. He managed to make some wainscotting deeply scary, which -- considering that it involved very minimal special effects -- said a lot for the quality of writing and acting involved.