India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Aatma: No soul in this horror flick

March 22, 2013

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Reuters)

The real test of a good horror movie, at least in my book, is when you can’t stop thinking about it and feel a shiver down your spine at night. All the great horror movies do that to you.

Suparn Varma’s “Aatma”, about a violent man who abuses his wife in life and in death, is one film that doesn’t scare you most of the time. Instead, there is much twiddling of thumbs as you wait for the next predictable twist and yet another person to die on the way to the climax.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays the angst-ridden ghost out to take revenge on his ex-wife by taking his daughter along to the world of the dead. Abhay (Siddiqui) haunts the house and his daughter’s school, killing anyone who dares to offend the child — whether it is the strict teacher or the class bully.

When his wife Maya (Bipasha Basu) realises what is going on, she and her mother (Shernaz Patel) enlist the help of a priest who reveals that the husband is back from the dead.

The film offers a few chills in the first half, but then  degenerates into a predictable plot line, using tried and tested devices we have seen a hundred times in other horror films.

Maya’s dilemma is hardly explored and Varma concentrates on increasing the film’s blood count. There are no twists or surprises to look forward to but there are plenty of loopholes.

Why, for example, did Abhay wait for so long to try and kill his daughter and wife when he could have done it any time?

Bereft of logic, intrigue or indeed any horror, “Aatma” is an unremarkable film that you are likely to forget the minute the credits start rolling.

(Follow Shilpa on Twitter @shilpajay )

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