After a spree of gimmicky horror films this month, “404” is a refreshing change. No creaky doors, no white faced ghosts, a simply told psychological thriller that sends a different kind of chill down your spine.
404 is a room in the hostel of a medical college. After a particularly mean incident of ragging, a student in room 404 commits suicide. The room gets locked due to rumors of a ghostly presence. After 3 years, a brave new entrant (Rajvvir Aroraa) at the college decides to dispel all rumors by volunteering to stay in room 404. To his support comes Professor Aniruddh (Nishikant Kamat) who is a man of science and hence doesn’t believe in ghosts. But after Aniruddh comes face to face with the mysteries of room 404, he begins to doubt his beliefs and gets caught up in a dense web of suspense and mystery.
Instead of relying on cheap horror tricks and tactics, director Prawaal Raman chooses to use interestingly lit backdrops, a good buildup and background score that aides the buildup of the script beautifully. A great choice of cast has a lot to do with the effectiveness of the film as well. Newcomer Rajvvir Aroraa is convincing while Imaad, Tisca and Nishikanth Kamat play their parts flawlessly.
Verdict: Although white faced ghosts walking upside down still have a large audience, the real horror resides in the mind. Watch 404. It might be a while before Bollywood produces another quality psychological thriller.