Ram Gopal Verma is up to his usual ‘tricks’ with this infantile sequel about a haunted house and a ghost existing in an abandoned doll (a la ‘chucky’). Tarun Avasthi (J D Chakravarthy) and his family consisting of a wife Namrata (Manisha Koirala) and two kids a son Naman and a daughter Nimmi (Alayana Sharma) are newly resident in this swank, multi-level, two storied independent house.

Film: Bhoot Returns (3D) Cast: Manisha Koirala, J.D.Chakravarthy, Madhu Shalini Director: Ram Gopal Verma
Film: Bhoot Returns (3D) Cast: Manisha Koirala, J.D.Chakravarthy, Madhu Shalini Director: Ram Gopal Verma

We don’t know why they have come here, what they do or whether the children even go to school. There is no time for back story. Since this family was not a resident of the original ‘Bhoot’ there is no connect either. The familiar faces do manage to connect you to RGV’s earlier films , unfortunately Those films had more to do with  the ‘underworld’  rather than the’ para-normal  that he hopes to invoke with this film. Scriptwriter Ravi Shankar plunges the family right into the ‘Ghostly’ set-up right from the word go.

Nimmi finds the doll and soon enough begins to have an imaginary friend called ‘Shabbo.’ At least that’s what the parents would like to believe. Tarun’s sister Pooja (Madhu Shalini) comes down for a visit and finds herself in the middle of it all.

When the house servant Laxman tells them tales from his home state about child witches being burnt alive to get rid of the resident ghost, they suspect him of being responsible for the nocturnal sounds that keep them awake and terrified through the night. Namrata goes hysterical, claiming she is more afraid for herself than her little daughter while Tarun  sounds so rough and abrasive while dealing with his kids that you’d want to stick the Child protection police on them.

Of course their defence of being spooked does not carry any water because there is little conviction in their argument as in the goings on engineered by a totally inept camera  and special effects team. The ghastly music is more intent on creating a din rather than setting a mood for surreptitious involvement. The racket thereof is more likely to scar you for life. The 3D depth is hampered by gimmicky camera positioning, the usual story about RGV films of late The man who made some really interesting and path-breaking mainstream fare suddenly appears to have completely run out of ideas.

Pooja, who comes in as fair game for RGV’s sexploitation, tries the ‘Paranormal Activity’ trick and positions the camera to record live through the night. It’s just one camera positioned to capture the area where the sofa is plonked. The recorded footage shows little Nimmi prancing about in the middle of the night and when questioned she claims it’s Shabbo who is directing her weird actions.

The ghost must have had prior instructions from RGV to stay within the frame or else how could it have been seen on film? The servant disappears, the daughter is not to be found and when she returns the family is in peril.

The ‘sequel’ prompting climax clearly indicates that RGV believes that today’s generation of parents are so self centred that they would rather run and save their own lives than worry about their children who may or may not be dead.

Despite protestations to the contrary, Tarun is the one who sets fire to his daughter and the adult trio stagger out of the house, never to look back, even while the son is shown twitching and the daughter comes through the agnipariksha and goes out of the house to make new friends. This film is a clear indicator that RGV has sold his soul to the devil for a few fast bucks!

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