Things are looking up for horror movies. The genre, which peaked in Bollywood in the ’70s, has since seen a downfall. However, with the release of flicks like 2008’s Phoonk and 2013’s Horror Story, horror might just be seeing a revival. The latest director to explore this genre is Pawan Kripalani with Darr @ the Mall.

As the name suggests, Darr @ the Mall takes us through the events at a haunted mall. When Shergill’s character Vishnu is employed as the security guard there, he realizes that accidents at the site might not be mere coincidences. Everything starts to fall apart on the night of an event, when the mall’s owners and their naive children find themselves stuck there for an entire night. The highlight of the movie, undoubtedly, is the soundtrack, composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. In fact, the film’s score adds to the eerie atmosphere, without overpowering the visuals. The performances, especially by the supporting cast, are also noteworthy. Though the script is far from original, the actors manage to make the movie palatable. Asif Basra, in particular, shines in his portrayal of one of the mall’s owners.

However, Darr @ the Mall is far from flawless. The film, which starts off on a promising note, quickly loses momentum. About halfway through the movie, various horror cliches were showcased. On loop. Scenes being "borrowed" from various other horror films will leave the audience with a sour taste. The movie has its moments that trick you into believing it’s going to get better any second. But that tends not to happen, and you’re left wondering what went wrong. However, it does get better towards the end. Unfortunately, these plot resolutions aren’t enough to make the viewer ignore the continuity errors or the script’s lack of originality.

Why should you watch this film?
Simply put, Darr @ the Mall is a horror film for casual horror viewers. Want to enjoy a horror movie without being too scared? This film is right up your alley! However, if you’re looking for a really scary movie, you might want to pass on this one.

By: Juhi Matta

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