Vikram Bhatt’s fascination for horror continues, even as the Indian film industry — and the desi viewer — desperately awaits the first authentic bone-chiller from Bollywood. Is Haunted the answer to the chill hunters’ prayers?
Not completely. And that’s because the story is dog-eared and done-to-death. Almost every horror film has the wailing ghost of a nubile young maiden who sends outs desperate SOSs to anyone who dares to enter her domain. And don’t we know why she’s wailing! Still, we won’t reveal the secret, which in any case, is hardly a secret….
But if the film works — and it works quite well — is only because of the special effects of the film. Experiencing the horror in 3D is indeed a novel experience for the viewer, specially since it is smartly done. Each time the ghosts lunge out at you, stick out their tongue or flail their limbs, you jump back in your seat. And yes, there are a lot of ghosts, performing a lot of ghastly acrobatics. There’s even a snake sticking out its venom at you and a hurtling brick, almost missing your nose….Great fun.
Other than that, there is the scenic beauty (Pravin Bhatt’s cinematography), a hummable music score (Chirantan Bhatt) and the eye for detail (the film moves back and forth in time) which keeps the hours ticking. Performance-wise, the director has opted for a bunch of new actors to pitch in as the lead pair. Sadly, there’s nothing extraordinary about them and they hardly leave an impact. It’s the veterans, like Achint Kaur and Arif Zakaria who end up giving you the goosebumps. And they do it in adequate measure.