India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Bhoot Returns – That’s not the spirit


I remember watching Ram Gopal Varma’s “Bhoot” in 2003 in a movie hall in Delhi. Or rather, I remember trying not to watch it. Most of the time, I had my face in my hands and had shielded my eyes because I was just plain scared.

Varma set a ghost story in a modern apartment, with two people and everyday settings, but he did it skillfully enough for you to be on the edge of your seat throughout the film. For weeks afterwards, I couldn’t look into a mirror because I’d remember the scene where the ghost appears in the mirror behind Urmila Matondkar’s back. That’s what a good scary movie should and can do.

Of course that was ten years ago and the Ram Gopal Varma we knew then has all but disappeared. In his place we have a director who is sleepwalking through his movies. And Varma’s film feels like one long, pointless walk in the night where nothing scary ever happens but you are subjected to people walking around a dark house at all hours of the night.

The first half of “Bhoot Returns” has Tarun Awasthi (JD Chekravarthy), his wife Namrata (Manisha Koirala) and sister Pooja (Madhu Shalini) walking around a house in search of a ghost. We are told right at the beginning that it is called Shabbo, and it makes ‘friends’ with the couple’s six-year-old daughter Nimmi.

Raaz 3: Horror gone bad


An ageing actress, her almost obsessive desire to stay at the top and destroy her rivals – all of this sounds like fodder for a good drama, and it is a theme that has been explored several times. Trust Vikram Bhatt to add ghosts, flying cockroaches and strange graveyard rituals to that concoction to give you the horror that is “Raaz 3“. #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */ Bipasha Basu Emraan Hashmi Esha Gupta

Bipasha Basu plays Shanaya Shekhar, a top actress who is so obsessed with her success she will do whatever it takes to hold on to it. When a younger actress begins to upstage her, she gets desperate. And by desperate, I mean really desperate. So much so, that she agrees to enlist the help of a spirit, who promises to torture Sanjana (Esha Gupta).

“13B”: Don’t expect to get too scared


I am one of those people who get scared even when they aren’t meant to. I hate dark rooms and stormy nights don’t evoke any romance in my mind. In short, I am a perfect candidate for horror films — or at least that’s what I thought.

Thankfully director Vikram Kumar changed my mind, merely by making “13B”.