Logical eclipse

Daniyal Zahid finds the new horror flick to be a rehash of every cliche possible

Logical eclipse
As has been discussed in this space many times before, Bollywood’s take on horror usually scares the living daylights out of the film’s producers and distributors. Whatever little horror coefficient remains is in the nightmare that the film is for the audience – considering the horrific skillset ubiquitously displayed.

While there was speculation that Amavas would change that, unfortunately, any inklings of optimism were ruthlessly massacred once the film hit the screens. The mass reaction that the film has garnered is absolutely no surprise at all.

For most Indian horror films, everything has to revolve around graveyards and death. Even though there weren’t any graveyards directly involved in this particular film, there was one which gets the limelight in the film when the ghoul’s grave has to be burned.

Of course, burning plays an essential role here just like it does in pretty much every Bollywood horror film ever produced. There was, of course, a love story as well because traditionally it’s hard to make any Bollywood film without elements of romance, let alone a horror one. Every now and then a song will hit your as well, again, just like your stereotypical Bollywood film.

It becomes problematic when a Bollywood film incorporates pretty much every negative stereotype affiliated with the industry, but can’t muster any of the positives.

From a terrible script to every possible cliche – Including creaking doors, an eerie house in London and a caretaker who likes to chase ghosts, Amavas had it all. Also, what’s with London being the new hub of horror films in India? One knows Bollywood’s infatuation with the city itself, but it seems to have become the setting for an abnormal subset of horror flicks.

Amavas is the story of Amaha (Nargis Fakhri) and Karan (Sachiin Joshi). The couple goes for a romantic getaway at Karan’s place in London. Karan has issues and believes someone is watching him at all times, but is smart enough to get help from a psychiatrist – possible the only smart thing anyone does in the entire script.

Of course, the purpose probably gets defeated when the psychiatrist reveals that the tattoo on her arm, which reads ‘Om’, is there to deter evil. One should also mention that the psychiatrist seems to only have one patient, i.e. Karan.
What’s with London being the new hub of horror films in India?

You will find all the elements found in the ‘Directing a Bollywood Horror Film 101’ course book including rocking chairs, creaking floors, bad special effects – which in this day and time aren’t honestly that special – a ghost watching the protagonists at all times and going around the mansion singing, and the story of a 10 year old murder cover up leading to someone being affected by the ghost in present day.

There’s no chemistry between the couple, whose casting is arguably the scariest thing about the film. It is increasingly appearing as though mediocre acting is also a part of the abovementioned course book.

The same goes for other casting and characterization. All characters appear to be caricatures, as exemplified by one who enjoys scaring people by wearing masks resembling her friends’ faces.

We might have to wait a while till Bollywood reaches anything remotely resembling the best that Hollywood has to offer in the horror genre. But films like Amavas abysmally fail in matching even the above average movie that Bollywood can offer. More often than not, such attempts result in unintentional comedy and misdirected horror.

Bhushan Patel and his crew perhaps tried a tad bit too hard to scare the audience. Patel, who ‘specialises’ in horror film, perhaps needs to learn the very basics of the only art he seems to delve into.