The best thing about watching a Bollywood horror movie is that by the end of the day you are laughing, rather than being horrified or scared.
Bollywood horror films depict less horror and strongly resemble comedy dramas, where one is actually horrified at the maker. Director, Vikram Bhatt’s recent release ‘Haunted,’ is one such example, which falls within the genre of a horror film, but actually resembles a comedy flick badly scripted and executed. The film is shot in 3D but the frames are not needed for many effects portrayed in ‘Haunted.’
Director, Vikram Bhatt known for thrillers such as ‘Red: The Dark Side,’ ‘Jurm,’ ‘Elaan,’ ‘Kasoor’ and ‘Aetbaar,’ reinvented horror in Bollywood through his blockbuster film, ‘Raaz’ in 2002.
After the success of ‘Raaz,’ Bhatt’s two other horror films, ‘1920’ and ‘Shaapit’ did mediocre business at the box office. His ambitious venture ‘Haunted,’ however falls flat in the face of horror genre.
The protagonist of the movie, Rehan returns to India from America and buys a mansion that’s almost a century old and is also haunted. He tries to uncover the story behind the house and the people who originally occupied the mansion. One night he finds a letter by a girl named Meera who once lived there.
She had committed suicide after being raped by the evil spirit of her piano teacher. Every night, the mansion is engulfed by heart wrenching screams coming from within which actually is a battle between the spirit of the girl and the evil spirit of the piano teacher. Rehan then decides to destroy the piano teacher’s spirit to give freedom to Meera’s anguished soul. The story unfolds further in a quest towards finding ways to destroy the evil spirit.
The plot is a typical stereotype of a horror movie, while the screenplay goes haywire in various directions.
‘Haunted’ brings back a few of Bhatt’s obvious horror ornamentations like panoramic panache cinematographed by father Praveen Bhatt and dark alleys following one after another accompanied by sound effects that are too loud.
Post-intermission, the story turns into a fiasco when Rehan decides to embark on a journey to the past, eight decades ago. The sole purpose of which is to ease and relate to the pain and suffering of the damsel in distress, Meera.
Fear of the unknown has not been thoroughly dealt with in the movie. The screen tends to fill up with cut off heads, slow motions, stereotype moves, typical sounds and clichéd dialogues.
About the characters, almost all the actor’s look confused on screen rather than identifying with the script. Those that play the spirits resemble cartoon character with stitches and some scars on their faces. There is no narrative and no screenplay.