Quite Ghastly

Bhoot Returns

DIRECTOR: Ram Gopal Varma

CAST: JD Chakravarthi, Manisha Koirala, Madhu Shalini,

Alayana Sharma

Rating: **

In Bhoot, Ram Gopal Varma has given us a film that worked all its "haunted house" horror tropes well. It delivered chills at frequent intervals, and kept the pace tight, leaving us all spooked.

Bhoot Returns has several similar things. A family moving into a new abode (it was an apartment in a multi-story building in Bhoot; here it is a bungalow surrounded by a garden). A little girl picking up on something strange in the house. A house-help who starts behaving oddly. And a sense of lurking evil.

JD Chakravarthi and Manisha Koirala are parents to two children, the son oblivious to his surroundings, the daughter more susceptible. Very soon, the little girl (Sharma) starts talking about an invisible friend whom she calls 'Shabbo', much to the dismay of her parents, and a tightly-tee-shirted-and-shorts aunt (Shalini). The action moves tightly between day time and night, in the apartment and in its immediate surroundings, and soon enough, bad things begin going bump, and the soundtrack starts filling with creaks and groans and high-pitched moans.

Bhoot Returns gives us horror in 3D which serves to enhance the claustrophobia. But that and the occasional scary moments are offset by predictable writing and pedestrian acting by all its protagonists (including Koirala on the comeback trail) except for the little girl, who does her job effectively. The best part? It is all of a snappy 88 minutes.

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