Film: Bhoot Returns (3D)
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Cast: Manisha Koirala, JD Chakravarthy, Madhu Shalini, Alayana Sharma
When it comes to horror movies, chills are based on subjective factors such as the viewer's belief in the supernatural, and most importantly, ambience.But to be honest, when watching a scary movie in a proper ambience, this reviewer has a tendency to get spooked out by some of the weakest ones.
After the mildly successful Bhoot, RGV pulls out this sequel from his horror pitara. From the conventional setting getting overcome by weirdness, Bhoot Returns is a mash up of RGV’s earlier horror movies.
The Awasthy family – father Tarun (JD Charavarthy), mother Namrata (Manisha Koirala), daughter Nimmi (Alayana Sharma) and son Taman – moves into a beautiful bungalow obtained at a very cheap rate, months after the previous tenants disappear mysteriously way. The next day, Tarun’s sister Pooja joins them there. Before establishing the setting, the movie gets right down to business ie scaring you with the unnatural. Vimmi finds a doll in a loft of the kids’ room. She soon starts talking about an imaginary friend, Shabbo. Events like banging of the door, moving of furniture, sound of footsteps on the staircase soon become a part of their nights. While their servant (who the family suspects is behind all this) warns them of a supernatural presence, Nimmi says the events are carried out by Shabbo.
Following in the footsteps of Paranormal Activity, Pooja plants cameras to record the unnatural events. It is then that the family realises the truth and try to flee the setting only to realise that they are trapped in that bungalow.
Bhoot Returns has every element that a 90s or even early 2000s horror film demanded – a peculiar bungalow, narrow wooden staircase, creaking doors, unexplained voices, movement of furniture, a possessed doll, a swing in the garden – but it fails to bring any novelty to the genre of horror films. While the first half moves a little slow, post-interval, the movie is running to get to the conclusion.
A few scenes are remarkable and succeed in scaring you out of your wits, but sadly, these are very scarce.
Making her return to Bollywood, Manisha Koirala, playing the worried mother, gives an average performance. JD and Maddu do justice to their role. Little Alayana is brilliant. Thanks to her adorable face, the audience sympathises with her.
One aspect that worked against the film was 3D. For one, there was no need of making the film in 3D, it would've looked the same in 2D. Two, the 3D is disturbing with blury images of the characters. Three, the director has used it to his advantage only while showing not-so-important objects like a fan, wind chime, etc.
The background score of the film is the only factor that works in its favour. It builds up the right pace leading to the appropriate ghostly bumps and bangs.
Overall, Bhoot Returns is missing the the scare factor and, god forbid, if you watch it with an audience that is easily tickled, you may not enjoy even the high points of the movie.