Sunday, September 09, 2012

Horror porn comes to town

(Published in City Express, The New Indian Express, on 8 September 2012, retrieved from http://newindianexpress.com/entertainment/reviews/article602915.ece)



Cast: Bipasha Basu, Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta
Director: Vikram Bhatt
Rating: 1 star
Let me confess. I’m terrified of horror movies. I can’t look at kids or dolls for days after watching those B-grade movies involving ghosts that possess children and toys. Hell, I was freaked out by the Tamil version of Omen. No, not even the dub – an actual remake, where an ayah played a significant role. Even the godawful graphics of the creature movies of the Eighties would scare me into having nightmares. But when I watched Raaz 3, I laughed. I laughed often.
In his latest offering, Vikram Bhatt collaborates with the other Bhatt khandaan to make an asinine film. The imported Hollywood concepts – snow on a TV screen accompanied by a threatening voice, coulrophobia (that’s Google for ‘fear of clowns’), the chandelier scare from The Phantom of the Opera – fall flatter than anything else in a movie that brings us heroines in skimpy clothes, in all their 3D glory.
Shanaya Shekhar (Bipasha Basu), who seems to have more reasons to hate Sanjana Krishna (Esha Gupta) than the film has the time or inclination to explain, turns to the dark forces when God deserts her. She also chooses to depend on the morally upright Aditya Arora (Emraan Hashmi) to do her dirty work. Helping them along is one of the Undead, a creature called Tara Dutt whose cloying tirades complement his carnal lust.
The story involves several scenes where Hindu idols are buried, and seeks to escape the ire of the fundamentalists by cutting the shots in the right places. That is about all that the movie gets right. Romantic songs burst out more unexpectedly than the horrific faces that populate the film. Everything about the story is unbelievable, from a gravestone that reads ‘Caritopher Crusto’ to a dreamscape where graffiti going ‘Vote for Dipak’ is scribbled on a wall.
These are the lessons I gleaned from the film:
  • When you tell someone about your past, you must tear up pieces of paper
  • When you’re jealous of a girl, fix her up with your boyfriend
  • If you witness an unnatural death, leave the scene screaming
  • If an unnatural death troubles you, make out with the first man you find
  • Bribes will get you anywhere, especially if you’re a doctor
  • Graveyards and mortuaries have only one thing in common – the people are dead
  • You can break into any Bollywood star’s home, as long as she’s away shooting

In the course of a film that involves worms, flying cockroaches, beheading and cinema crew, so many people die that we can be reasonably sure there won’t be a sequel.
The Verdict: If you want to spend time on cheap scares, Google ‘Exorcist spot the difference game’ and save yourself the money you’d waste on Raaz 3.

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