CAST & CREW
By now most watchers of horror movies have got used to a typical setting with screeching doors, weird make ups and, (for no logical reason), skimpily clad females running all round the haunted places – with the horror spirit having a special liking for them. But Vikram Bhatt’s “ Horror Story” claims to be an undiluted horror movie, sans song, dance and even comedy.
Plot: This is the story of seven friends, Sam ( Hasan Zaidi), Margesh ( Ravish Desai), Achint ( Nishant Malkani), Neel ( Karan Kundra), Meera ( Radhika Menon), Sonia ( Nandini Vaid) and Maggie ( Aparna Bajpai), whose tryst with spirits and horror starts when they decide to meet up at Hotel Grandiose. The place was long known to be abandoned and haunted by spirits of dead asylum patients who were burnt down in a massive fire that had taken place several years earlier. Vikrant Nerula ( Bikramjeet Kanwarpal) who had taken the property and converted it into the hotel had also died recently having jumped from the top floor.
The seven were meeting for a reunion and a send-off for one of their friends going abroad for higher studies. Unperturbed, they decide to go ahead anyway and meet in the hotel. As they enter the hotel, weird things start happening one after the other, but they brush aside all these supposedly strange and inexplicable incidents. They all move to Room 3046, which was mentioned to be the most haunted. First Sam gets killed in the room, and after fleeing to the terrace, Margesh also meets the same fate, while Sonia vanishes in the dark being dragged by the ghost. After several eerie happenings, it is ultimately only Meera and Neel who are left to fight the evil spirit, Maya, who they learn derives her power from a Shock Machine that was used in the Asylum. While Neel succumbs in the process of destroying this machine, Meera, the lone survivor, with the help of the spirit of Vikrant, burns down the machine, ridding the hotel of the evil spirit.
Review: Producer-writer Vikram Bhatt, known for his fascination for this genre, has used debutant director Ayush Raina to dish out what appears to be a straightforward horror story with no frills. To make the effect more starkly realistic, he has clinically avoided any known names on his cast, on the assumption that they would carry no airs and their faces and eyes would display the fear and desperation more candidly. The greenhorn cast has precious little to deliver besides momentary expressions of fear and surprise, accentuated by loud and spooky music, and hence whatever little they do matches with the overall tenor of the film. Although thankfully no song and dance numbers are added - though a dance of the ghosts may have reduced the monotony of fear - Anil Mohile’s background music quite often gets cacophonic, searching for better effects.
Verdict: For those who had been waiting for a neat horror film without other usual trappings, and are not keen on big casting names, this film should provide adequate satisfaction.
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