Mayank Shekhar | Last Modified - Oct 12, 2012, 12:59 PM IST
The servant of the house is missing. It’s been about three or four days. But the family doesn’t report this to the police. The cops come to harass the husband-wife now. The case presently relates to their daughter. Eventually the family finds the dead-body of the servant in the attic of the house. If you didn’t know better, you would think this film is based on the infamous Aarushi murder case. It probably is.
But more importantly, this is a Ram Gopal Varma film. These days, that means three things: crazy camera angles; sound that envelopes your senses; and the lack of a detailed script. These three elements are usually sufficient to make a horror movie. So they don’t bother you as much. Through the 3D glasses, we watch the haunted house from the ceiling fan, from behind statues, and under the chairs. The water almost gushes into your eyes.
There’s a little child who’s possessed. Ghosts choose certain homes, the film says. Hers is one of them. It’s a swanky Dupleix bungalow, unlike the apartment in Varma’s Bhoot (2003) that looked like yours or mine, with the creaky, old lift as one of the main characters. Among the reasons Bhoot should be considered a masterpiece is that it could instil fear among non-believers, chiefly, because it seemed like the story of our own stuffy lives. Indian Ramsay type B-grade horror films until then were mainly centred on maalis and veeran havelis. Bhoot Returns in comparison produces no similar chilling effect.
If you recall Varma’s Satya, Shabbo was a prostitute that the goons talked about, but who you never got to see. Shabbo is the name of the ghost in this film! You never get to see her either. You watch the house. You see the little girl. The camera turns into another mad angle. The sound hits you on your head. The same sequence gets repeated. You wade through the hollowness. And you wonder, finally, because it’s so easy to tell if the horror film is working for you: “Am I scared?” No. But hey, everyone around is laughing. So at least it’s a decent enough comedy. This has been the unintended result of several of the director’s recent movies, sadly. This one is no exception