Well, Vikram Bhatt, the director who has touched various genres of films such as “Ghulam” (action drama), “Kasoor” (suspense thriller), “Raaz” (horror) and “Aawara Paagal Deewana” (action/comedy), now comes up with a stereoscopic 3D film, “Haunted” (3D).
After a series of horror films like “Raaz”, “1920”, “Shaapit”, Bhatt adds “Haunted” to the spooky list. Now the question that arises is whether “Haunted” has enough horror to give you chills in your spine?
The answer is – not totally! The movie does give you the creeps in the 150 minutes for which it runs, but the storyline does not seem very strong.
The story revolves around a protagonist (Rehan), a well educated, smart guy, who comes to this haunted mansion called “Glen Manor” to complete his deal that his father had initiated. But he realizes that certain mysterious occurrences in the manor may jeopardize the sale. Later, he witnesses some quirky incidents himself. That’s the time he realises that there is something really wrong in the mansion. Then it has the same old story of a female’s spirit wailing every night and the reason for the same that can be guessed by any bollywood buff. But the 3D effect makes the dead story all alive.
Sure, “Haunted” packs in spooky effects aplenty – lights going off in the haunted mansion, creaky doors, the evil spirit jumping from nowhere et al that makes a desi horror film ‘comprehensive’ in the true sense. 3D effects make you feel as if the ghost is standing right behind you. Many sudden scenes that make you go “woah”! But all in all, that’s majorly because of the effects, which otherwise would seem funny rather than horror.
Something that you should really watch for is the scenic beauty of Koti (Pravin Bhatt’s cinematography), a hummable music score (Chirantan Bhatt). Also the pretty lady (Meera), who is the victim of the crime that took place in the mansion 80 years ago. The dressing style, the vehicles, the language used, take you to the 30’s era. But what kills the story is the hero going back in time to 1936. And while striving hard to save the girl, falls in love with her. That entirely kills the charm and makes it a typical hindi horror film. Then there are scenes like the obsessed, evil spirit taking the form of a lady and jumping from trees and running in the air to get the girl. No doubt, there are some remarkable scenes very well shot, such as the ghost walking down a vertical tree and Meera crying for help.
Despite the flaws, “Haunted” doesn’t erase the efforts of the rest of the film. It does not fall into the category of tacky, gimmicky & brutal horror films. On the contrary, it’s an absorbing, slick, efficiently told horror movie. Well, the target audience for the movie should be spine-chiller movie fans.
Verdict: For those who like getting spooked, the film is surely a one-time watch but “Haunted” has nothing that a weak-heart cannot bear.
Go ahead, get spooked!