'Haunted', takes horror genre the x-tra mile (Movie Review)

By Subhash K. Jha (00:23)

Film: "Haunted 3D"; Starring: Mahaakshay Chakraborty, Tia Bajpai; Directed by: Vikram Bhatt; Rating: ***

The best thing one can say about this rivetting romp into the kingdom of the eerie is that it really didn't need the 3D format to make an impact. "Haunted" works just as effectively without the 3D.

It takes the horror genre in India as far as it can go. And then it goes that extra mile in search of the shivery feeling that most films in India from the genre seem to give the miss.

Vikram Bhatt reinvented the horror genre eight years ago. In its intuitive amalgamation of Hindu mythology with horror "Raaz" was a threshold-crosser. In "Haunted" Bhatt goes full-throttle in search of that language of supreme scares that somehow we furtively enjoy even when we pretend not to.

"Haunted" brings back some of Bhatt's patent horror motifs… The scenic Ooty landscape shot with panoramic panache by Pravin Bhatt. The tranquil location perpetually secretes untold terror and horror. And here, if the terrible truth be told, the terror is untold. The fear of the unknown is explored to the hilt, as the screen explodes into a series of episodes where the boy and girl try to escape Satan's latest reincarnation, a piano teacher with lust on his mind. Aarif Zakaria as the ghoul has little playing-time on screen. But his eerie sordid imprint is all over the plot.

In the tradition of Vikram Bhatt's other horror films there are very few incidental characters claiming our attention. Brent Robinson's screenplay restricts itself to the predicament of the main characters. There's an interesting attempt to play with time passages as the hero Rehaan (Mahaakshay) goes back 80 years to save the dainty damsel from the perverse pianist.

Mahaakshay Chakraborty shows a certain composure for the camera, his eyes telling tales that you just can't afford to miss. Being the mythic Mithun Chakraborty's son has its advantages. In a cleverly-written sequence Mahaakshay gets a chance to dance.

The narrative flows smoothly and some of the special effects are to die for. If you are a fan of the horror genre you really can't afford to miss this one.

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